Search engine features – which matter?

Across the internet you will see umpteen posts about ways to improve search engine results, and which of these matter the most. There is also likely to be a degree of discrepancy, since whilst some of it is down to opinion or personal experience, some of it is widely regarded or accepted by all.

Every year Moz produces a report which attempts to try and come up with a more definitive answer to the question, and 2015’s annual publication is now complete (see:

This year’s report should be more accurate and more representative since Moz claim it is the biggest offering they have done so far.

How is it done? 

The study looks at the various search engine ‘features’ (the ones which everyone might expect) and results are then based on:

1) Interviewing experts in the field and asking their opinions on these matters. (This year over 150 commented on over 90 terms!)

2) A kind of statistic / data handling / algorithm type procedure is used to populate the data and come up with the results – nothing short of what you’d expect from SEO then!

What scored what?

The biggest ranking factor was said to be domain linking aswell as page linking (these obtaining 8.22 and 8.19 ‘marks’ out of 10 respectively.) In particular what was being given greater authority was the quality of links, the trust flow, page ranking, and whether links to any poor or spammy sites are used. Taking the bronze position was ‘page level’ with due account of good content and good keywords.

It is not surprising that these feature in the top three places as they are (or should be) at the heart of any SEO campaign.

The factors which scored lower include things such as the length of the domain name, whether an SSL certificate is present (which is actually quite surprising,) and social media metric information.

Whilst this report won’t stop arguments continuing about what is and is not important, it will at least allow priority to be given to certain tasks based on a researched and mathematically compiled report rather than guess work or preference.

To look further at ranking features and our success with previous clients, visit our case studies page.