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Google ranking signals in this year

July 14, 2017


It’s no secret that Google’s ranking algorithm is made up of over 200 components, or “signals.” And while the list is impressive, it can get daunting if you’re a just regular human with 24 hours in a day.

Surprise, surprise, right?In year, backlinks continue to be the strongest indication of authority to Google.Let’s look at the things that can make or break yours.

1.Link score
The score is made up by every incoming link’s individual quality score (aka PageRank) and the number of links to the site.So link quantity is an important part of the score. However, remember that you can’t afford to have spammy, low-quality links in 2017.It’s also worth noting that links coming from the same domain carry little weight; Google will typically only count one of them when evaluating your link profile.So in terms of quantity, your primary factor to focus on should be the number of linking domains.

2.Anchor text relevance (but not too much of it)
Anchor text is another part of the “backlinks” concept that matters for rankings.Much like the content on your pages, your backlinks’ anchors tell Google what your page is about — and what it should rank for.Of course, you’ve got to remember about Penguin and keep your anchorsdiverse and natural; it’s all about striking the right balance.

All right, content is king. But what is Google looking for in quality content, exactly?Here are the three things that make a difference.

*Keyword usage

How to optimize:To start, launch WebSite Auditor, create a project, and go to Content Analysis.Specify the page you’re optimizing and enter your target keywords.Look through the on-page factors for stats and recommendations on keyword usage, and check with the Competitors tab to see how your top competitors handle any given page element.Finally, switch to the TF-IDF dashboard for a list of terms that many of your top competitors use (remember RankBrain?) and specific usage advice for your content.Use these insights as inspiration to make your page more relevant and comprehensive.Now, it’s time to make changes to your page.Jump to Content Editor and optimize away!When you’re done,hit the save button in the top right corner to download the optimized HTML to your hard drive, ready for upload to your site.

Technical SEO
The technical foundation of your site is crucial for SEO (and well beyond).Here are the top two factors that matter for rankings.

*Page speed
Google expects pages to load in two seconds or less, and they’ve officially confirmed that speed is a ranking signal.Speed also has a massive impact on UX: slower pages have higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates.The most common culprits for poor speed are uncompressed resources: scripts, images and CSS files.

If your pages aren’t optimized for smartphones, they won’t rank in mobile search at all.With over half of Google queries coming from mobile devices, that’s not something you can put up with in 2017.The focus on mobile will likely continue with Google’s commitment to switch to mobile-first indexing soon.

User experience
The debate around the use of behavioral factors in ranking has been on for years.But in Google’s own words, “searching users are often the best judges of relevance, so that if they select a particular search result, it is likely to be relevant, or at least more relevant than the presented alternatives.”

*Click-through rate
A SERP (search engine results page) click-through rate (CTR) is the ratio of the number of times a search listing was clicked to the number of times it was displayed to searchers.Numerous patents filed by Google focus on CTR as a ranking signal.SearchMetrics’ study even found that CTR has the highest correlation with rankings out of all factors examined.If some of your listings’ CTRs are seriously below these averages,these are the low-hanging fruit to focus on.Think of how you can make your snippets click-worthy and look into competitors’ listings forinspiration. To edit and preview your Google snippet , open WebSite Auditor, go to Content Analysis > Content Editor, and switch to Title & Meta tags.Once you’re happy with it, hit the save button to download the HTML file to your hard drive.

SEO is a complex, multidimensional, ever-evolving science.It’s only natural that you can’t afford to focus on every detail; and you don’t have to, either.If you prioritize your efforts, focus on the eight factors above, and remember to watch competitors closely, you’re sure to come out ahead of them in the SERPs.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.


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