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  1. #1
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    Google On-page Ranking Factors in 2015

    Martinbuster started a nice little thread over at WebmasterWorld discussing On-Page Ranking Factors. I though it would be good to get this discussion going here.

    2015 Google On-page SEO Ranking Factors List (Including Deprecated Factors)

    I want to split off on-page from off-page and discuss solely on-page ranking factors, including the deprecated factors. What's your list of important on-page factors and those that are less important?

    2015 Ranking factors
    User experience metrics (all of them)
    Shorter title tags
    Original content
    Engaging content that provides an answer, teaches, informs, is useful, delights
    Original images
    Quality site design
    Descriptive meta description

    Deprecated
    Keywords
    Focus on longtail phrases
    Focus on ranking for specific keyword phrases
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  2. #2
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    Re: Google On-page Ranking Factors in 2015

    Good one Justin! And great source. I scan WMW too, but had not gotten there yet today. So big thanks for starting this discussion!

    I would add answer questions potential searchers may have. I think that's a content biggie now.

    + That about freshness? How much of a factor is that now? About 6 months ago I read a post or study that said they thought the freshness dial was turned way too high in the algo and lots of sites were ranking just because they always had new content even though the content was not great and the sites were not as authoritative as the leading industry sites. So are you seeing freshness as factor in local, or organic now?

    And for local I would factor in mentions of neighborhoods and other surrounding GEO location info.

    What do all you Pros have to add?
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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  3. #3
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    Re: Google On-page Ranking Factors in 2015

    What do you mean by "Shorter title tags " Do you mean more concise tags or ones that will not stretch out beyond what is shown by the search engines?
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    Re: Google On-page Ranking Factors in 2015

    While meta descriptions are important real estate to make sure you use well, I'm not sure if it makes my Top 10 for ranking factors. I think meta descriptions should be used to encourage clicks. I agree that keywords in the old sense are dying but I believe what is still in infancy is how well your keywords connect. Using internal linking, good site structure and content that blends pages are all things I think are critical as opposed to making sure single pages are perfectly purposed for a keyword(s). Thanks for sharing this!
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    Re: Google On-page Ranking Factors in 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by travelincat View Post
    What do you mean by "Shorter title tags " Do you mean more concise tags or ones that will not stretch out beyond what is shown by the search engines?
    I thought this was a general statement he made. I was wondering as well.

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    Re: Google On-page Ranking Factors in 2015

    Dustybones,

    Sorry, just realized that you were commenting on a thread at WebmasterWorld by MartiniBuster.
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    Re: Google On-page Ranking Factors in 2015

    I think freshness could be a powerful part, but not necessarily just publishing content to keep the site "fresh." So.. this is an oldie, but I think it holds weight in this discussion:

    Google's New Freshness Update: Social Media Has Changed the Expectations of Searchers

    Since Google has a patent that outlines a scoring system based on how and when a document is updated, I have to believe that beefing up content to keep fresh and relevant will help the site. So many people write a post, then leave it in the grave. What would happen if instead of writing a brand new post on a similar topic, you just re-write and update the old one?

    I'm starting to run experiments to test the material in this patent and other patents to see if velocity impacts rank (freshness), or if edits to existing posts impact ranking score. It's going to be a long process.

    Has anyone done studies like this in the past? It would be way easier to get a data starting point if I'm not working from 0
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    Re: Google On-page Ranking Factors in 2015

    I like this discussion, will have to check out that original thread. My initial thoughts...

    I agree with mborgelt on the descriptions. I use them as a compelling call to action, but I don't worry to much about them as ranking factors.

    Does anyone know what he means by original images? I would include a good title and alt tag, but not sure images impact ranking, at least as a major factor. Certainly, I wouldn't copy someone else's image, but not sure that's what he means.

  9. #9
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    Re: Google On-page Ranking Factors in 2015

    I stopped following the "noise" ie googles rotating ranking factors closely about 18 months ago. And started using "common sense". Common sense meaning a mesh between what is best for the searcher combined with Google's associated cost to deliver/monitor.

    For 3 years prior I worked with a dude that wore a hat. He didn't guess or at least had a more scientific approach. He ran 30k to 50k queries per day in various verticals then compared common traits of those that placed against those that didnt. Yeah, yeah, spare me the causation and correlation line of bs that everyone leads with. The bottom line is most "experts" with an opinion on ranking factors are doing little more than guessing imo. I believe you have to crunch a shit load of data to really drop any knowledge. You also need access to hundreds if not thousands of GA, GMB accounts etc.

    I also saw that his reaction time was speedy. And yes, he rebounded/reacted faster than your average firm. These activities continue in full effect. I would compare it to day trading the markets as opposed to long term trading/investing. Rip and run vs the long play. Lots of big swings or a slower curve. Times of bliss and times of utter depression. You're king of the world and then you're a piece of dirt.

    We often found that Google did nothing different that roll out an old algo sometimes to shake up the results. Or if it wasn't old it was very, very similar to something from the past. Sometimes favoring pure local signals, then switching over to traditional signals, etc.

    I believe that it's all important. The key is to stick with accounts long enough that you eventually have all the bases covered.

    I also believe that it's in Google's best interest to shuffle the deck from time to time. And they can do that and still have a page full of worthy candidates btw. I don't think they are always improving the results with an update but rather shaking it up so the results are fresh just like Google prefers your site to be. We all get bored with the same old "anything". Rankings, signals, factors fluctuate but sticky businesses grow their audience regardless.

    I learned SEO running hundred plus micro sites in the commodities industry back in 04 - 09. It's funny to see the correlation between day traders and longterm investors as well as the correlation between manipulation/black hat vs the long play/white hat.

    Some guys just love the rush. They are looking at and trading hourly, day or week charts (500 ft). Others can't stand that risk, the swings, the look at 3 yr, 5 yr, 10 yr charts (30k ft)

    I grew tired of the former in both cases.

  10. #10
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    Re: Google On-page Ranking Factors in 2015

    User experience metrics... all of them?

    Didn't Gary Illyes say that only the mobile algorithm uses behavioral metrics? I disagree that bounce rate has ever had an impact in the SERPs.. the only thing I can see is CTR but that's not exactly an on site behavioral metric, that has to do with Google SERPs.

    I actually think pretty much everything listed is speculation at best. Shorter title tag..okay maybe... but original images? Quality design? Meta description? I think most of it is irrelevant.

    Even though I respectfully disagree with what was mentioned, it is nice to see differing opinions on things.
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