For online marketers, most things start and end at SEO. You, obviously, want your sites to rank higher on search engine result pages in order to drive a steady (and growing) stream of visitors, readers and potential customers.
And for this you have to keep an eye on factors that influence rankings, right?
Well it so happens that search engine algorithms, or let’s just say Google Search algorithms, change considerably over the course of a year. If you want a little refresher, then this infographic from the folks over at SearchMetrics summarizes the most vital SEO ranking factors in 2014.
Here are some highlights:
- Backlinks certainly remain an important factor, Google is now putting a lot more emphasis on where these links come from. Relevancy and quality is crucial, as is a distinction between natural and artificial backlinks.
- Social signals are now considered in ranking algorithms, but their extent remains under wraps for now. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ shares are influential, this much is clear.
- Another thing that’s clear is the fact that technical quality of a website is gaining more and more importance. You have to make sure your website is free of errors, has valid HTML code, is optimized for mobile devices, and, importantly, not slow to load. Performance matters.
- Authoritative sites tend to enjoy more exposure in search engine rankings.
- Old school factors like keyword in domain names are now losing their importance.
While the infographic perfectly illustrates the current state of affair of SEO, there is plenty of reading material at the page above, including how the was performed, and how to interpret the numbers.
Click the infographic below to view the full high-resolution version.