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10 Must Know SEO Ranking Factors in 2017

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Positioning your page high in Google ought to be your first concern to guarantee the success of your online business. Obviously, Google’s algorithm is continually changing, and we cannot depend on yesterday’s SEO ranking factors as we venture into 2017. In any case, you can boost your SEO endeavors by concentrating on a couple of particular search ranking factors like content, backlinks, mobile-first user experience, Rank Brain, and so forth. However, there is significantly more than this that you should know, keeping in mind the end goal- to rank high in SERPs. 

Read on to discover Search Engine ranking factors in 2017 that can optimize your site in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs)-

Top 10 SEO Ranking Factors in 2017

1.) Use of Domain as SEO Ranking Factors

  • Keyword Appears in Top Level Domain improves SEO ranking.
  • Keyword As First Word in Domain
  • Domain registration length: A Google patent states:

“Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain”.

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  • Keyword in Subdomain Name can boost rankings.
  • Exact Match Domain can still give you an edge, but your site needs to be a quality site because if EMD is a low-quality site, it is wide open to the EMD update:

    SEO Ranking Factors

    Matt Cutts Google Algo tweet

  • Public vs. Private Who-Is
  • Penalized who-is Owner hurts the chances of other websites to rank good in SERPs.
  • Country TLD extension helps the site rank good for that particular country, but reduces global visibility. 

2.) Page Level SEO Ranking Factors

  • Keyword in Title Tag
  • Title Tag Starts with Keyword performs better compared to title tags that have keyword towards the end of the tag:

    SEO Ranking Factors

    Title Tag Starts with Keyword

  • Keyword in Description Tag
  • Keyword Appears in H1 Tag sends relevancy signal to Google.
  • Keyword is Most Frequently Used Phrase in Document
  • Content Length:  Content with more words is preferred to shorter superficial articles.

    SEO Ranking Factors

    Average Content Length (words)

  • Keyword Density
  • Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords in Content(LSI) help search engines understand extract meaning of words that have more than one meaning, e.g. Apple- the computer company vs. the fruit.
  • LSI Keywords in Title and Description Tags
  • Page Loading Speed via HTML acts as a SEO ranking factor.
  • Duplicate Content negatively influences a site’s search engine ranking
  • Rel=Canonical impedes Google from considering pages’ duplicate content.
  • Page Loading Speed via Chrome, Image Optimization and recently updated content
  • Magnitude of Content Updates is an effective SEO ranking factor.
  • Keyword Prominence is an effective SEO ranking factor while Keyword in H2, H3 Tags is a weak relevancy signal.

    SEO Ranking Factors

    Keyword prominence

  • Keyword word order should match what your audiences search.
  • Outbound Link Quality and Outbound Link Theme are important SEO ranking factors.
  • Grammar, Spelling and Syndicated Content are signals that boost SEO ranking.
  • Helpful Supplementary Content and Multimedia may act as a content quality signal.
  • Number of Internal Links Pointing to Page and Quality of Internal Links Pointing to Page
  • Broken Links may hurt chances of being ranked in SERPs.
  • Reading Level plays important role in Google SEO ranking.

    SEO ranking

    Reading Level in SEO Ranking

  • HTML errors/W3C validation is a weak quality signal.
  • Page Host’s Domain Authority and Page’s PageRank
  • URL Length, URL Path and Human Editors influence the SERPs.
  • Page Category on which the page appears on is a relevancy signal.
  • WordPress Tags are WordPress-specific relevancy signal that aids in improving ranking by SEO. As per Yoast.com:

“The only way it improves your SEO is by relating one piece of content to another, and more specifically a group of posts to each other”

  • Keyword in URL and URL String are important SEO ranking factors. URL strings are read by Google and may provide a thematic signal to what a page is about:

    SEO Ranking Factors

    Keyword in URL

  • References and Sources are the signs of quality. As per Google Quality Guidelines, “reviewers should keep an eye out for sources when looking at certain pages, as this is a topic where expertise and/or authoritative sources are important”.
  • Bullets and Numbered Lists make content more user friendly and Google prefers content with bullets and numbers.
  • Priority of Page in Sitemap influences Google ranking SEO.
  • Too Many Outbound Links:As per Quality rater document:

“Some pages have way, way too many links, obscuring the page and distracting from the Main Content”

  • Quantity of Other Keywords Page Ranks gives Google an internal sign of quality that helps in improving SEO rank report.
  • Older Page Age, which is regularly updated may outperform a newer page and help in ensuring better search ranking.
  • User-Friendly Layout: As per Google Quality Guidelines Document:

“The page layout on highest quality pages makes the Main Content immediately visible”

  • Parked Domains decrease search visibility of parked domains.
  • Useful Content

3.) How to increase SEO ranking through Site Level Factors

  • Content Provides Value and Unique Insights
  • Contact Us Page with an “appropriate amount of contact information” is effective SEO ranking factor.
  • Domain Trust/TrustRank is one of the most important Seo ranking factors that is measured by how many links your site has is from highly-trusted seed sites.
  • Site Architecture needs to be well put to let Google thematically organize your content to improve SEO ranking.
  • Site Updates, Number of Pages and Presence of Sitemap are important SEO ranking factors.
  • Site Uptime, Server Location, and SSL Certificate act as ranking signals.
  • Terms of Service and Privacy Pages help Google judge that a site is a trustworthy online member.
  • Duplicate Meta Information On-Site brings down visibility of all of your WebPages.
  • Breadcrumb Navigation is a style of user-friendly site-architecture that helps users and Google know where they are on a site:

    SEO Ranking

    user-friendly site-architecture

  • Mobile Optimized sites, YouTube videos and Site Usability are important SEO ranking factors

    SEO Rankings Factors

    SEO Keywords for ranking

  • Use of Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Google SEO ranking tools is important to improve SEO rank report.
  • User reviews/Site reputation through reviews sites like Yelp.com and RipOffReport.com play significant role in deciding ranking by SEO.

4.) Backlink Factors that aid in deciding ranking by SEO

  • Linking Domain Age plays a significant role in deciding ranking by SEO and aged domains help in boosting SEO rank report.
  • Number of Linking Root Domains help in boosting search ranking and number of referring domains is one of the most significant SEO ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. See in image below- horizontal axis is SERP position.

    SEO Ranking factors

    SERP position

  • Number of Links from Separate C-Class IPs and number of Linking Pages are important SEO ranking factors.
  • Alt Tag (for Image Links)
  • Links from .edu or .gov Domains as there is a special place in the Algo for .gov and .edu kind of top-level domains (TLDs).
  • Authority of Linking Page or the referring page is an extremely important SEO ranking factor.
  • Authority of Linking Domain
  • Links from Competitors and other pages ranking in the same SERP is important to improve SEO ranking.
  • Social Shares of Referring Page influence ranking by SEO.
  • Links from Bad Neighborhoods hurt your Seo ranking.
  • Guest Posts is a noticeable SEO ranking factor.
  • Links to Homepage Domain that Page Sits On
  • Diversity of Link Types avoids Webspam and is a signal of a natural link profiles that boost Google ranking SEO.
  • “Sponsored Links” Or Other Words Around Link may decrease a link’s value.
  • Contextual Links are considered as one of the most powerful SEO ranking factors.

    SEO Ranking Factors

    Contextual Links

  • Backlink Anchor Text still sends strong relevancy signal to Google, and about its importance, Google says-

“First, anchors often provide more accurate descriptions of web pages than the pages themselves.”

  • Some other important Backlink SEO ranking factors are-
  • Internal Link Anchor Text
  • Link Title Attribution
  • Country TLD of Referring Domain
  • Link Location In Content
  • Link Location on Page
  • Linking Domain Relevancy
  • Page Level Relevancy:  
  • Text Around Link Sentiment
  • Keyword in Title

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5.) How to increase SEO ranking through User Interaction

  • Organic Click through Rate for a Keyword gives a SERP boost to your site for that particular keyword.
  • Organic CTR for All Keywords is a human-based user interaction signal that acts as an effective SEO ranking factor.
  • Bounce Rate should be low, as Google does not consider pages where people quickly bounce as quality page.
  • Direct Traffic is important to let your site get considered as a quality site compared to sites that get very little direct traffic.
  • Repeat Traffic gives a boost in Google ranking to the sites that have repeat visitors.
  • Chrome Bookmarks: Web-Pages that are bookmarked in Chrome get a ranking boost in SEO ranking Google
  • Google Toolbar Data: As per Search Engine Watch’s Danny Goodwin’s report, “Google uses toolbar data as a ranking signal.”
  • Number of Comments signal better user-interaction and quality to Google that boosts in ranking.
  • Dwell Time: In case people spend lots of time on your page when coming from their Google search, then this is considered as a quality signal to improve SEO ranking.

6.) Special Algorithm Factors that influence SEO ranking Google

  • Query needs Freshness

Because Google gives newer pages a boost in search results.

  • User Browsing History

Sites that are frequently visited when signed into Google get a SERP bump.

  • User Search History

Search chain history influences Google search results.

  • Geo Targeting

Google prefers sites with a local server IP and country-specific domain name extension.

  • Safe Search

Search results with adult/cure/illegitimate words/content won’t appear for people with Safe Search turned on.

  • Google+ Circles

Sites that you have added to your Google+ Circles get better SEO Ranking Google

  • DMCA Complaints

Pages with DMCA complaints are down marked by Google.

  • Transactional Searches
  • Local Search results get preferences over normal organic SERPs. 
  • Google News Box
    SEO Ranking

    Google News Box

  • Big Brand Preference

After the Vince Update, Google started offering big brands a boost for certain short-tail Google searches.

  • Shopping Results
  • Image-Results effectively influence ranking by SEO.
  • Easter Egg Results
  • Single Site Results for Brands

Domain or brand-oriented keywords help in bringing up several search results from the same site.

7.) Social Signals SEO Ranking Factors

  • Number of Tweets a page has, influence its Google ranking SEO.
  • Authority of Twitter Users Accounts plays significant role in boosting ranking of sites.
  • Number of Facebook Likes
  • Number of Facebook Shares
  • Authority of Facebook User Accounts
  • Pinterest Pins are quite popular as influential social media account with lots of public data that make them best fit as a powerful social media SEO ranking factors
  • Votes on Social Sharing Sites through sites like Reddit, Digg and Stumbleupon that Google considers as a different type of social signal.
  • Number of Google+1’s
  • Authority of Google+ User Accounts as Google considers weigh +1 is coming from authoritative accounts more effective to influence Google ranking SEO than from accounts without many followers.
  • Known Authorship acts as an effective Google SEO ranking tool

In February 2013, Google CEO Eric Schmidt famously claimed:

“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results.”

  • Social Signal Relevancy
  • Site Level Social Signals increase a site’s overall authority that increase search visibility for all of its pages.

 8.) Brand Signals help in deciding ranking by SEO

  • Brand Name Anchor Text
  • Branded Searches: In case people search for your brand-site, then this signals Google to put your brand in higher search results
  • Site Has Facebook Page and lots of Likes
  • Site has Twitter Profile with Followers signals that your site is a popular brand.
  • Official LinkedIn Company Page
  • Employees Listed at LinkedIn is an effective brand signal that influence Google ranking SEO.
  • Legitimacy of Social Media Accounts with good number of followers and noticeable interactions.
  • Brand Mentions on News Sites: Some of the big brands can even have their own Google news feed on the first page:

    SEO Ranking factors

    Google News feed on first page

  • Co-Citations: Non-hyperlinked brand mentions are treated as brand signal by Google
  • Number of RSS Subscribers: As Google owns the popular Feedburner RSS service, it takes RSS Subscriber data as a popularity/brand signal.
  • Brick and Mortar Location with Google + Local Listing as it helps Google recognize that your site is a big brand.

9.) On-site Webspam SEO Ranking Factors

  • Panda Penalty penalizes sites that have low-quality content
  • Links to Bad Neighborhoods: Linking out to “bad neighborhoods sites such as payday loan sites, etc. may hurt visibility of your site in Google search.
  • Sneaky Redirects has to be avoided as it can get your site be penalized and de-indexed.
  • Popups or Distracting Ads are sign of low-quality site as per Google Rater Guidelines Document.
  • Site over optimization incorporates different on-page factors such as header tag stuffing, keyword stuffing and excessive keyword decoration.
  • Ads Above the Fold need to get avoided as “Page Layout Algorithm” penalizes sites that have lots of ads above the fold compared to content.
  • Auto-generated Content can negatively affect SEO ranking of websites that can result into penalty or de-indexing.
  • Meta Tag Spamming may hurt SEO ranking of your site. 

    SEO Ranking Factors

    Onsite SEO Ranking Factors

10.) Off-Page Webspam Factors that influence ranking by SEO

  • Unnatural Influx of Links is a sign of phony links that should be avoided.
  • Penguin Penalty makes sites less visible in search results.
  • Link Profile with High percentage of Low Quality Links created by black hat SEOs e.g. forum profiles and blogs comments should be avoided.
  • Linking Domain Relevancy is important, as Sites that have unnaturally high amount of links from unrelated sites are susceptible to Penguin penalty.

    SEO Ranking factors

    Percent of links coming from websites in Same Niche

  • Unnatural Links negatively influence SEO rank report.
  • “Poison” Anchor Text can hurt your site’s ranking, and you need to avoid it.
  • Some other noticeable Off-page Web-spam Google Ranking SEO Factors that you need to pay heed upon are-
  • Selling Links
  • Google Sandbox
  • Google Dance
  • Manual Penalty 
  • Disavow Google SEO Ranking Tool
  • Reconsideration Request
  • Temporary Link Schemes

Conclusion

All things considered, regardless of the possibility that you follow half of the things scribbled down in this post, the advantages would be hugely fulfilling and site ranking by SEO will for sure get boosted satisfyingly.

In case of any doubts about SEO ranking factors or SEO updates, feel free to ask me in comments. 

Garima is a data-driven marketing manager who is buff of Big Data, Digital Marketing & Social Media. Conceiving and executing Digital Marketing Strategies that focus on the audience engagement and acquisition/growth are her strong suits. Writing blogs is something that she holds high for sharing her expertise of which you can get the dividends here, through Digital Vidya blogs.
  • seo


  • There are 2 comments


    • 5 months ago

      Sunil Singh   /   Reply

      Great post..!
      I like your post the way you have shared the SEO methods and which factors should remind while getting optimization. It was such an effective an impressive post.
      Keep updating and inspiring us.
      Thank you.

    • 4 months ago

      mahendra singh kharwar   /   Reply

      Great Great post….Thank you so much for this Post Garima

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