SEO Ranking Factors That Matter
Hey what’s up rankers. My name is Arpit and today I am going to tell you top 5 Google ranking factors that will matter the most in 2017. I have listed down these factors based on a lot of research from sources like Search engine land, Search engine journal, Moz, Bloomberg, search engine roundtable, and Google’s official blog. and also what I understand of Google Search.
So Let’s get started.
5. Don’t Violate Google quality guidelines
We all know getting on Google's bad side is not a good idea. In 2017 don’t try to fool Google with practices like paid backlinks, hidden text, doorway pages. Google has shown strong intentions to fight spam and this is why you should make sure your website is not sending any spam signal by mistake.
A lot of websites raise spam signals unknowingly. Webmasters should be aware about their websites and various spam signals that can breach Google's quality guidelines. Like 2 common mistakes that can trigger spam signals are keyword stuffing and spammy backlinks. In case you want to go through complete Google quality guidelines. Since Google will be merciless with websites raising spam flags. You should check your website spam score at Moz open site explorer.
4. User Experience Signals
The central theme of Google Search has always been user experience. Some experts say user experience signals will be the most important factor in the coming years. Some factors that you should focus in 2017 are as follow:- Bounce rate, pages/session, mobile friendly web design, content readability, broken links & site speed.
In the fall of 2015 Google confirmed that Rankbrain is the third most important factor in the ranking algorithm. Rankbrain is Google’s name for a machine-learning artificial intelligence system that’s used to help process its search results. Rankbrain seems to be a needed "patch" to the general Hummingbird update.
So let’s understand what is rankbrain.
Rankbrain is mainly used as a way to interpret the searches that people submit to find pages that might not have the exact words that were searched for. Google also got synonym smarts, so that if you searched for “sneakers,” it might understand that you also meant “running shoes.” It even gained some conceptual smarts, to understand that there are pages about “Apple” the technology company versus “apple” the fruit.
Let's look at another example
I type in - when was the wife of Narendra Modi born
You see it has given us the answer without having the exact words that were searched for, In 2015 Rankbrain was processing approx. 15% of all searches however in 2016 Google confirmed that now rankbrain is processing 100% queries this shows Google’s increasing confidence in rankbrain. and for marketers like us the big question is how can you optimise for rankbrain.
So a lot of marketers and even Google employees say you cannot optimise for Rankbrain as it artificial intelligence based query interpretation and there is no rankbrain score given to a page. Rankbrain is about better understanding the query and it doesn't re-rank search results.
What you should do is insist on optimizing your content using semantic SEO practices, in order to help Google understand the context of our content and the meaning behind the concepts and entities you are writing about. You should also Focus on structured data so mark-up all the things possible in your website. and lastly focus on search intent and not keywords.
Content is the King and will continue in 2017 as well. I cannot emphasize enough on the importance of having a well-rounded optimized content. As per a research the pages that rank on the 1 page of Google have approximately 1900 words so content is still an important ranking factor.
Here are some tips to optimise your content in 2017
- Keywords our out topics are in - Optimize for user intent, not keywords
- Focus on AMP and structured data - Amp will be big in 2017 guys
- Make video a part of your content marketing strategy - nothing is more engaging than a video
- Also focus on Influencer Outreach campaigns - this could also be used for link building
No surprise there. Backlinks remain an extremely important Google ranking factor in 2017 as well.
it’s been found number of domains linking to a page has the highest correlation with rankings more than any other factor.
Although there are many speculations that links will play a less dominant role in the future and other factors like user experience and search intent will become super important but for now backlinks should be your number 1 SEO strategy.
So that was my top 5 ranking factors in 2017. Let me know yours in the comment section. I would love to know what you guys think.
Written by Arpit Khurana