Everyone of us would agree to the fact that SEO has changed quite a bit over the last couple of years. While experts suggest that modern SEO requires a combination of technical, creative and strategic thinking, small businesses always look for a list of the current ranking factors. There are many search engine ranking factors that you’ve known for years. But it’s crucial to understand which of the previous ranking factors still rule and which of them are projected to change as modern SEO expands to include multiple other aspects of online marketing.

Unless you’re aware of how the different ranking factors might change (in terms of their direct impact on Google’s search ranking algorithm) in the near future, you’ll not be in a good position to take a well-structured approach to the SEO of your website or blog.

Therefore, we present you with an overview of which ranking factors are projected to increase in impact, which of them will remain the same and which ones will decrease in impact. [Source: 2015 Ranking Fctors Experts Survey by Moz]

Search Ranking

Predicted to Increase in Impact
There are many ranking factors that are projected to only increase in impact with time. Whether you’re developing a new SEO campaign or improving an existing one, you should focus more and more on these search engine ranking factors.

#1. Mobile friendliness
#2. A site’s or page’s perceived value
#3. Quantity/quality of instant answers provided in SERPs
#4. Click-through rate and time spent on site
#5. Readability/usability/design
#6. Influence of structured data in SERPs
#7. Association with mobile apps and popularity of apps
#8. Clickstream data from outside of SERPs
#9. Download time of site
#10. HTTPS
#11. On-page topic modeling

These factors will only become more important and valuable because they revolve around user experience.

Predicted to Remain the Same
There are some ranking factors that will still play the same role as they did earlier. Even if you’re planning a modern SEO strategy, you can’t underestimate the value of these factors.

#12. Topical relevance of links
#13. Quantity of paid results in SERPs
#14. Social signaling
#15. Presence and prominence of advertising vs content
#16. Raw domain authority based on inbound links
#17. Structure of URL
#18. Internal linking structure

Predicted to Decrease in Impact
There are many ranking factors that will continue to lose their value over time. It’s because they can be easily manipulated. It’s advisable to not dwell upon these search engine ranking factors, as they’ll carry no benefit for the long-term.

#19. Effectiveness of paid links
#20. Influence of anchor text

If you still choose to depend on these ranking factors, you should be ready to face search penalties.

What’s Next?
Now that you’ve a clear picture of how different ranking factors might change and impact Google’s ranking algorithm in the near future, you should devise your SEO strategy keeping in mind the ROI for the long term. By taking the modern approach to SEO, you’ll be able to achieve a great position in search engines and gain tangible results while beating out the competition. Modern SEO isn’t just about getting plenty of visitors to your site, but it’s also about converting them into customers so as to ensure a higher return on your SEO investment.

In a nutshell, you have to grow your site in terms of quality, uniqueness, relevance and authority. Keep the technical factors in mind, let your creative juices flow and think strategically. Most importantly, start creating high quality, relevant content on an ongoing basis so that search engines can index your site continuously.