From the beginning, the core search algorithm provided by Google has offered the most relevant search results swiftly and efficiently. As high functioning as their search process is, Google is determined to be ever improving their search algorithm. You cannot rely on last year’s ranking factors when using SEO in 2017. While the entire list of ranking factors is staggering, here are a few of the most important.
In recent years, internet browsers have been spending less time on a laptop or desktop computer and more time on their smartphones and tablets. With this mobile-first indexing method, page loading speed has become more important to SEO than ever. Websites with poor page loading speeds will find their ranking score negatively impacted. Google’s goal in this new concept is not only bringing relevant content to their users but also provide results that give a great user-friendly experience.
Page Speed matters to Google. Google regards page speed as a ranking signal, so you should make sure your site is well-optimized and fast loading. And because Google is focused on delivering the best onsite user experience possible, page speed comes in that logic.
And, if a site loads fast, chances are better that users will remain on your website! “40% of shoppers will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load” – Kissmetrics
What can slow down your site?
- Cheap web hosts that have oversold shared servers
- Unoptimized images
- Embedded media
- Dense code
- Complicated themes
Backlinks continue to be an important ranking factor as always. Over time, Google has learned to weed out bad backlinks and recognize good ones. The more links you have, the better you will rank on Google search. This is only true, however if the backlinks come from diverse and authoritative sources.
Strong link building is all about creating popular content and persistent advertisement. When others read, enjoy, and link your content, Google will look over your backlinks matching anchor text and determine if your content is relevant. When your content earns a high number of quality backlinks, you tap into three crucial Google search ranking signals: link authority, number of backlinks, and backlink diversity.
Content is arguably one of the most important SEO ranking factors. This is obviously not a new SEO ranking concept but it has changed a bit in recent years. Before, content writers focus mostly on highly key-worded content. While quality keywords are still important to rank high in Google search, relevant content in a natural sounding language has been shown to give higher SEO ranking results. This is expected to become even more prolific as 2017 unfolds.
While re-tweets and page likes may not directly affect your search engine rank, high social media signals will greatly impact your website’s traffic. Increasing website traffic makes your content more relevant, thus a higher Google SEO ranking. Social signals help to drive engagement and more repeat visitors to a website.
Synergy is where social signals gain their real power. Utilizing social media helps to align content with your target audience for ultimate impact. The idea is to simply get your name out and keep it there.
46% of all searches on Google are LOCAL.
80% of local searches lead to in-store visits & immediate purchase decisions.
Local SEO is getting bigger and better by the day. Schema code is an important ranking factor, especially for those with a small business. Schema markup code helps Google gain an understanding of texts such as phone numbers, addresses, and reviews. Local businesses using a site wide schema code are much more likely to show up higher ranked than their competitors. For example, this is how you tell Google where your business is located.
In the past, exact-match domain names were a guaranteed way to boost search visibility. While this concept is not a foolproof as it once was, domains still hold power when it comes to your Google SEO rank. With Google’s updated core search algorithm, there are two major factors when it comes to domain power.
- Exact Match. If your domain name contains the word recipe, for example, people searching for certain cooking recipes are more likely to find your websites than others with more irrelevant names.
- Domain Seniority. The age of your domain is another huge ranking factor. Younger domains struggle to maintain a high rank on Google search. Domains with a long-lasting and reputable track record tend to have an easier time staying on top of the SEO search engine game.
Google’s core search algorithm aims to pave the way for websites with quality content that brings real value to web users. Google has also shown great improvement in gauging how users interact with your web content. Understanding what ranking factors matter most and implementing them on your site will greatly increase your chances of achieving that coveted high SEO ranking.