Quality links for a website are a strong influencer in Google search results, according to Moz’s “2015 Search Ranking Factors” report released earlier this week.
Links, both domain and page level, were the two top factors in search rankings, the report said. Other important website features are strong keyword and content relevance, quality of content and site speed.
The report combined a survey of more than 150 search marketers and correlation research of 17,600 queries (a mix of high and low volume keywords). This is Moz’s fourth study of its kind over the last six years.
In terms of page-level keyword usage, the study found lower correlations between on-page keyword use and rankings. User intent, rather than an exact keyword match, was found to have more priority in rankings.
Social metrics and features like domain name length are not primary drivers for top search results.
Value of organic search for B2B marketers
Organic search drives more than half (51 percent) of traffic to B2B websites, according to a research by BrightEdge in 2014. However, the value of organic search doesn’t come without challenges. An Ascend2 study released in the spring said 40 percent of marketers cited changing algorithms as one of the most challenging SEO obstacles.
The Moz search engine ranking factors, while they do not determine with certainty what leads to higher search rankings, provide valuable insight for B2B search marketers.
“Note that these factors are not ‘proof’ of what search engines use to rank websites, but simply show the characteristics of web pages that tend to rank higher,” the authors of the Moz report study wrote. “Combining this understanding with both experience and knowledge of search engine algorithms can help lead to better SEO practices.”