SEO Ranking Factors in 2017: What’s Important and What’s Not

What ar the foremost crucial computer programme ranking factors these days? Panelists at SMX East mentioned their findings and provided sensible recommendation for golf shot this information into action.

As technology advances, search engines will refine their ranking algorithms higher|to raised|to higher} confirm relevancy and come back results that better align with searcher intent.

Because these ranking algorithms ar perpetually being improved and refined, computer programme ranking factors ar continuously evolving. Factors might|that may} once have had a large impact on search rankings may not matter all that abundant, and new ranking factors (such as mobile-friendliness or HTTPS) will emerge to replicate dynamic technologies and user behaviors.

So, what ar the foremost vital ranking factors these days, in 2017? A panel at SMX East, “SEO Ranking Factors in 2017: What’s vital and What’s Not,” wanted to answer that question. This panel featured information from large-scale studies performed by SEMrush and Searchmetrics, similarly as case studies and sensible recommendation for adapting your SEO ways to current realities.

SEMrush Ranking Factors a pair of.0
The first panellist was Olga Andrienko from SEMrush, WHO shared the results of a large-scale study on ranking factors that examined the highest one hundred positions for 600,000 keywords. Keywords were classified by search volume into the subsequent categories:

terribly High: ten,001 monthly searches and up
High: 1,001 to 10,000 monthly searches
Medium: a hundred and one to one,000 monthly searches
Low: one to one hundred monthly searches

SEMrush checked out on-page factors, referring domains and traffic information, then compiled their findings to envision that ranking factors perceived to be the foremost vital. Here were a number of their findings:

Website security (HTTPS)

SEMrush found that sixty five p.c of domains within the prime 3 positions for terribly High volume keywords ar already secure. though it’s not a large ranking issue, Andrienko counseled change to HTTPS to assist with conversions and building trust.

Content length

SEMrush found that content length typically had a correlation with search rankings; content for pages within the prime 3 positions is forty five p.c longer, on average, than content within the twentieth position.

Even so, Andrienko didn’t advocate merely writing plenty of content so as to rank higher — the key’s to write down sufficiently long content that’s relevant and matches user intent. check up on what your competitors do, and discover however you’ll produce content that gives a lot of worth to users.


SEMrush had some attention-grabbing findings with respect to keywords. They found that:

thirty five p.c of domains ranking for high-volume keywords don’t have the keyword within the title. this means that Google’s algorithms are becoming higher at understanding context/synonyms, and/or that keywords within the page title have become a lesser ranking issue.
only a few links contain a keyword within the anchor text — really, even among terribly High volume keywords, solely eight p.c of link anchors enclosed a keyword. this might recommend that keywords in anchor text don’t seem to be a significant ranking issue, however it additionally could be a mirrored image of SEOs adhering a lot of strictly to link-building best practices that see anchor text links as spammy.

Website traffic

SEMrush solely studied web site traffic’s impact on rankings. They found that the quantity of visits matters for high-volume keywords.

Interestingly, search traffic specifically didn’t seem have any impact on rankings; but, direct traffic will.

User signals

The SEMrush study additionally checked out numerous user signals, including:

bounce rate. Overall, bounce rate is low for the highest 3 positions however gets higher as you go down — this might recommend that top-level sites have a lot of relevant content, higher web site speed, higher user trust then forth.
pages per session. Higher pages per session correlates with rankings, too.

Andrienko urged that Google doesn’t directly take user signals into consideration, however that if they’re low, which means users aren’t partaking together with your web site as they ought to be.


High-quality link building remains super-important, each in terms of referring domains and “followed” backlinks. Andrienko noted that backlinks matter, particularly for sites targeting keywords with fewer than ten,000 monthly searches.

What issue is most important?

Interestingly, SEMrush found that user signals and (direct) web site traffic were truly the very best predictors of prime rankings. Andrienko theorized that this was as a result of top-level sites (i.e., those on page 1) ar all doing on-page improvement well, which means that Google wants new criteria to differentiate among these sites.

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