SEO Ranking Factors in 2017

What area unit the foremost crucial program ranking factors these days? Panelists at SMX East mentioned their findings and provided sensible recommendation for golf shot this knowledge into action.

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

Because these ranking algorithms area unit perpetually being improved and refined, program ranking factors area unit continuously evolving. Factors could|that may} once have had an enormous impact on search rankings may not matter all that abundant, and new ranking factors (such as mobile-friendliness or HTTPS) will emerge to mirror dynamic technologies and user behaviors.

So, what area unit the foremost vital ranking factors nowadays, 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 knowledge from large-scale studies performed by SEMrush and Searchmetrics, further as case studies and sensible recommendation for adapting your SEO methods to current realities.
SEMrush Ranking Factors two.0

The first critic was Olga Andrienko from SEMrush, World Health Organization 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: one zero one to one,000 monthly searches
Low: one to one hundred monthly searches

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

Website security (HTTPS)

SEMrush found that sixty five % of domains within the high 3 positions for terribly High volume keywords area unit already secure. though it’s not an enormous ranking issue, Andrienko counseled switch to HTTPS to assist with conversions and building trust.

Content length

SEMrush found that content length usually had a correlational statistics with search rankings; content for pages within the high 3 positions is forty five % longer, on average, than content within the twentieth position.

Even so, Andrienko didn’t suggest merely writing a large amount of content so as to rank higher — the secret is to jot down sufficiently long content that’s relevant and matches user intent. examine what your competitors do, and understand however you’ll produce content that gives a lot of price to users.


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

thirty five % of domains ranking for high-volume keywords don’t have the keyword within the title. this implies that Google’s algorithms have gotten higher at understanding context/synonyms, and/or that keywords within the page title are getting a minor ranking issue.
only a few links contain a keyword within the anchor text — really, even among terribly High volume keywords, solely eight % of link anchors enclosed a keyword. this could recommend that keywords in anchor text don’t seem to be a significant ranking issue, however it additionally may 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 completely 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 ranking sites have a lot of relevant content, higher website speed, higher user trust and then forth.
pages per session. Higher pages per session correlates with rankings, too.

Andrienko urged that Google doesn’t directly take user signals under consideration, however that if they’re low, which means users aren’t partaking along with your website as they must 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.

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