Here are some MAJOR Google leaks, huge for SEO’s in 2015, courtesy of Graeme Kahn:
1. Google Panda – Quality is NOT only text now. It includes everything e.g. design, navigation, they are looking at “User feeling and experience on the website.”
2. Any page that has been hit by Google Panda or has thin content will get a soft 404 and be crawled less.
3. No hidden content, or blocked content, this will produce a Google Panda problem.
4. Named Anchors this is being used by Google like H1-H6 tags. This is not the same as anchor text, for example <a name= “C4”> Semantic Keyword </a> Google now uses it as a structured Markup. If you are using H1-H^ tags to markup the page then don’t use it, but if you can’t use them then the named anchor is now used. Also Google will now link up Semantic named anchors.
5. DoFollow still is best and gives the most signal to Google. NoFollow gives a little signal to Google. (Before Google said it gives nothing). Google now uses mentions or recommendations, so if you use a naked URL this is a signal to Google, but of course the DoFollow gives more weight. The point here is that NoFollow does give a little bit of weight now. Google has said that webmasters need to give content as three main groups 1. Naked URL/mentions 2. NoFollow 3. DoFollow.
6. Page Rank (PR) is no longer being used (it is now considered old and outdated). However, Google has released a patent which is a new type of PR called Topical Rank. So, if a site A is in nice X and links to site B in the same niche, that will pass juice, but if they are in different topics then it will not pass link juice. This is being used right now secretly.
7. Google Penguin 3 released October 17th 2014, updated on November 27th 2014, and then underwent minor updates on December 2, December 5th, and December 6th 2014. Google Panda also had a major update through November 7th – 14th and then again December 7th – 14th, 2014 (100% confirmed by Google now!).
8. Google Penguin 3.xx (insider information is saying they are finding it hard to differentiate negative SEO and black hat SEO. In 2015 they are going to release a Penguin update and hit everything. They are then going to wait and see what you do, so if you disavow your links then build another set of black hat links they will now know you are doing black hat SEO and you will then be put in the Google SandBox!) 90% of links in disavow Google are ignored, quoted from Google insiders. The order of the links in the disavow file they are currently working on. So, if you have 100 links that have bad anchor texts, then the next 100 links for Malware sites, and the next 100 links to guest posts etc… Google will be checking that in the disavow file. Google is now using manual reviewers to try and tell the difference between negative SEO and black hat SEO. Also, the manual review team will look at your disavow files to gain a bigger insight as to find out what is going on.
9. Google will not be working on Penguin for a while, as quoted by Google on December 30th 2014, but it will be running updates on a monthly basis. Google will also no longer be announcing Google Penguin updates.
10. In 2015 Google will be releasing an automatic algorithm tool for Webmaster Tools. So, it’s just like a manual review pop-up. You will be seeing this very soon!
11. There was a bug with moving from HTTP to HTTPS but Google has now resolved this issue. If you have set it up incorrectly you will damage your rankings!
12. Google has said that it does NOT Make the disavow links in to NoFollow links. Quoting Google “they kind of treat them the same as NoFollow links” but they are not turned in to NoFollow Links.
13. Canonical tags: Google has said if it is duplicate content Google will take the shorter URL, however if the content is different it can take the longer URL.
14. Click Data: For example, if most people are clicking from SERP to page A to page B Google will then start ranking Page B where Page A ranks.
15. Traffic: Google now wants to see websites with equal traffic from organic, keyword, social, etc… So you must focus on getting traffic from every source! Two things that Google have said that are very important are social signal likes, shares, etc… and brand. (When I say brand, people must be searching for brand in organic traffic.)
16. Backlinks: These will be less important to Google soon and will start to get reduced ranking factors. You must start to focus on recommendations and mentions. Just as mentioned in point 15 – you must focus on everything!
17. CTR: Your CTR is extremely important. The most important CTR is your brand. Your brand must have a CTR of 50% or higher or else you will suffer from a Google Panda penalty. Also, topic pages with your main keywords should have a CTR. Long tail brand keywords should be getting 60%-100% CTR.
18. Keywords: Keywords is more powerful in the title than the URL. This is now going to make EMD Less powerful. (Gareth Bull has been saying this along….)
19. Keyword stuffing in the alt and title tags will be hit hardest by Google Panda.
20. Google Pigeon has now been released world-wide to English sites only.