SEO 2015: Onpage Optimsation – New Ranking Factors

Jochen Fuchs

So far we have looked at content, site structure and technology as factors to get you ahead in the race for good search engine rankings. But search engines are evolving constantly. In the future completely new, unknown factors will start playing a bigger and bigger role.

Google Ranks up mobile-friendly Websites

It's been rumored for quite a while, but from April 21 2015 Google will officially taking mobile-friendliness into account in their rankings. If you still don't have a responsive website, now is the time to get on it. Mobile traffic is growing quickly and has already overtaken desktop traffic in some areas. Until now, mobile search results were the same as their desktop counterpart, but from April 21 mobile-friendly sites will have the advantage. This makes responsive design a hard requirement you can not ignore.

Google’s Mobile Friendly Tool lets you find out if Google thinks your site is “mobile-friendly”.

Mobile-firendly websites being highlighted in Google’s mobile search results

Site Performace

This has been discussed for a while, but the launch will apparently come sooner than anticipated by most people. In the near future, Google will start visually marking sites with long load times in mobile search results. Them using that performance data as an actual ranking factor is to be expected. Source

This reinforces the general rule of modern onpage optimisation. What helps your users will likely help your rankings. If your site loads quickly, even on slow internet conections, that makes your site a lot more valuable to visitors. Search engines will reward that with better rankings.

Websites with performace issues being highlighted in mobile search results

Installed Apps

Apps a user has installed on their android phone will become a factor in Google’s rankings, also starting on April 21. Say they’re searching the web for a particular news story and have the “New York Times” App installed on their phone, Google will push results from higher up the page. Source

Wrapping Up

That wraps things up for SEO onpage optimisation. When you keep the basic guidelines in mind, you should find yourself in a good position in terms of SEO. As you see, technical tricks play a much smaller role in modern SEO compared to good content and meaningful structure.

Coming up in our series on search engine optimisation: The basics of offpage SEO, and how it helps your rankings.

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