Search Engine Ranking. The seemingly uncrackable safe that is Google’s algorithm.

Without seeing Google’s algorithm, understanding how to ‘trick’ the system in your favour seems to be some mythical beast that everyone is trying to ensnare. SEO Software company Moz has just completed their 2015 Ranking Correlation Study which has provided valuable insight to the inner workings of the machine.

While it does not tell exactly what factors Google’s algorithm uses to rank pages, it does highlight strong insights based on factors most associated with higher ranked pages. A very important distinction.

For this study, the top 50 results of 16,521 search queries were analysed which resulted in more than 700,000 unique URLs – so it is safe to say it is pretty thorough! (If you’re a data lover – read the full methodology here).

We’ve trawled through the results to bring you the top 5 take-aways that are of note when it come to your web pages ranking.

1. On page keyword use and rankings.

The correlation between these factors has lowered, most likely due to Google becoming ever smarter in its analysis of what the pages mean and no longer wholly reliant on a few keywords or phrases. Now, more than ever, content needs to match the user intent.


The way which websites communicates with browsers like Google Chrome or Internet Explorer®; a two-way communication path between users and the website. Using HTTPS – a secure connection, meaning no third party disruption and a safer communication channel, has a positive impact on page rankings.

3. Number of Links

Contrary to popular belief, data continues to support link acquisition as a positive influence on page rankings. Of course, this comes with a huge disclaimer that these links need to be supportive to the website content with relevant content.

4. Exact-match domains

Where the domain name is an exact match the to keyword search term i.e. Domains that are an exact-match seemingly have a higher ranking, which could be attributed to the keyword usage rather than the algorithm favouring exact-match domains.

5. Social sharing

Ever the controversial factor. The data shows that pages that have a high number of social shares tend to rank higher; however it is suspected that this is more attributed to the SEO benefits of social sharing rather than the social shares being counted by Google’s algorithm.


At Venture Stream we endeavour to keep on top of the latest trends to help your website rank as high as possible in your industry.

Want to know how these insights affect your website? Get in touch with us today for a free online audit to see how we can help improve your digital and e-commerce business!