You’ve probably seen a lot of predictions at the end of 2014 of what SEO will look like in 2015. That’s pretty normal for almost every industry – I guess people like making predictions, and in the industries full of various myths, these can often be quite confusing.

So in this article, what we wanted to do was to share our experience rather than try our luck at predicting the future. We’re now in April and we can clearly see what works for us and our clients, and more importantly, what doesn’t.

What works.

Quality Links

Links, in our opinion, continue to be the strongest ranking factor. Sites which have relevant, quality links from authoritative domains continue to do very well in SERPS.

Link Risk Management

Continued monitoring of our own, and client’s, link profiles seems to be working for us very well. As we mentioned before, links continue to be the major ranking factor, but the type of links you want in 2015 are different than in days gone by. The quality and relevance is paramount, more so than sheer quantity.

Sound site architecture

This is especially important on huge eCommerce sites with thousands or tens of thousands of pages. Making them easy for Google to crawl and index is essential, and from our experience it makes a big difference. We constantly crawl, conduct technical SEO audits, and improve the sites we’re working on.

What doesn’t work.

Content without links

You all probably heard countless numbers of content marketing “experts” telling you to build great content and forget about links. Well, from what we have found, SEO in 2015 doesn’t work this way. You can have all the best content in the world but without links it will never rank and nobody will see it. In short, writing content is not going to make you rank all on it’s own.

Low quality links

This one probably doesn’t need much explanation. If you are still going for quantity rather than quality you should seriously revise your strategy.

Social Media Signals as ranking factor

Even though Google themselves explained this on a number of occasions many still believe that having Facebook or Twitter followers can somehow impact your rankings.

Our experience confirms this – social signals do not help with rankings. It’s not to say that there is no value in social media. What we are saying is that if your “SEO Advisor” is telling you to “do social media” because it will help with your rankings, then you should stop immediately and reconsider.