What are the main Ranking Factors in 2016

Since the release of the Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Payday loans and now Rankbrain (The Terminator) aptly described by one commentator a lot has changed in SEO in the last few years.

The honeymoon is over

The days of simply acquiring 100’s of spammy links whether innocently or not and producing low quality content expecting it to rank are well and truly gone. Yes, there are some loopholes still exploited, however, the longevity of such tactics is usually short lived and potentially very damaging in the long run unless you are into churn and burn websites.

Google is Watching You

I have witnessed this with clients where Google have flooded bot traffic into websites ad hoc no doubt testing various elements along with perhaps trying to simulate user behaviour. This type of bot traffic is completely irregular and sits outside of normal bot crawls.

Positive Factors

These comprise of three main categories, On page and Off page factors and User Engagement the latter being the third most important factor in 2016.

Negative Factors

Although there are many and these have almost become a mine field, below is a summary of the main factors that could harm rankings in 2016

1. A boring/mediocre blog which does not drive traffic, engagement or social shares
2. Keyword Stuffing
3. Bad Reviews/Ratings/Reputation
4. URL Parameters
5. Bad Design/HTML Coding
6. On page and off page over optimization
7. Paid Links
8. Duplicate Content (text/images)