We saw a lot of changes in terms of SEO in 2014 which fundamentally change how SEO is going to be done in the foreseeable future. There are lots of technical changes, but the question is, what is really going to move the needle for your search rankings in 2015? I predict that trust, relevancy, and social signals will set you apart from your competitors and help you take over Google.
When you’re thinking about the quality of links that are directed to your site, they can be broken down into two categories: trust and power. A powerful site may not have much trust, and a site with a lot of trust may not have a lot of power. Ideally your links will be very trustworthy and very powerful, but often this is not the case.
Previously, power was a factor that really set your site apart. Think a site with a high Page Rank (though page rank is a measure no longer used). Previously, if you got some high-powered links with some targeted anchor text, your site would rank well.
Trust is harder to define, but can be determined through things like link velocity and the amount of links you are away from a high authority site (and the number of links you are away from Kevin Bacon). Trust is something more difficult to create and fake than power.
The balance between power and trust will really be the important ranking factor for 2015. If you have too much power without trust, you’re going to reach a limit with how highly your site can be ranked. Alternatively, if you have a ton of trust but no power, you will not be able to rank for very competitive keywords.
Google is definitely trending towards favoring relevant and focused sites for keywords. If a site is all about thumbtacks, then this site will rank well ahead of more powerful/trustworthy sites than have articles on many different things. So if you’re planning for a site launch in 2015, make sure to make your sites more focused. You can also do some on-page tricks to inform the powers that be that your site is in fact an authority on a given subject (think silos).
The talk about social signals as a ranking factor have been talked about for many years. However, 2015 is the year when these signals will actually play a significant part in your business. Now your tweets, likes, and pins can actually help your site in the search engines. This won’t be looked at page by page, but rather how these social signals exist over time and across your site. And yes, this is definitely linked to trust.
SEO has changed dramatically year over year the last few years, and 2015 will be no different. Make sure to keep tabs on your rankings, build quality links with high trust, and be active on your related social accounts.