Quality Content Is More Important Than Ever, Finds New Study

Aug 04, 2015

New research from Searchmetrics, a provider of search experience optimization which includes SEO and content performance marketing, concludes that Google is now better able and more focused than ever on giving higher search rankings to good quality web content that is easy to understand and relevant to the search query. Positive user signals such as time on site help Google assign relevance values to content. Searchmetrics' analysis indicates the days are numbered for old-style SEO tactics such as link building or emphasizing relevant keywords and search phrases.

Additional new findings include the fact that, on average, 30% of sites that appear in the top 30 Google U.S. search results use responsive design to optimize the search experience by automatically adjusting the format to suit a mobile, tablet, or computer. As increasing numbers of users search on the move, responsive web design is more important.

In its annual study Search Ranking Factors and Rank Correlations - Google US 2015, Searchmetrics once again analyzed the top 30 search results for 10,000 relevant keywords and 300,000 websites appearing on Google.com. The aim of the analysis is to identify the key factors that high ranking web pages have in common and provide insights and benchmarks to help marketers, webmasters, and SEO professionals. The study measures the correlation between the presence of a wide list of factors amongst high-ranking Google.com search results.

Searchmetrics says the most important message from the 2015 study is that as the trend away from keywords and towards relevant content is continuing, high-ranking sites are shifting their focus from using keywords based on search queries to trying to understand the user's intention as a whole and reflecting this in quality, logically structured content.