4 SEO Ranking Factors That Could Make a Difference in 2017
4 SEO Ranking Factors That Could Make a Difference in 2017

A couple of years ago, SEO experts suggested that there are over 200 factors that could influence search engine ranking. But focusing on all of them proved a tad too tough even with an in-house SEO team. Now, an alternative is to maximize SEO efforts by focusing on just a few of the most important factors considering the constant change in Google’s algorithms. Here are 4 important SEO ranking factors that could make a positive difference this year, according to experts in Search Engine Optimization Dubai industry.

1. Content

‘Content still is king’ says the experts at Google. However, we witnessed a shift in how content is presented last year. Many website owners started publishing relevant content written in natural language instead of keyword-focused content, and this had a positive outcome. 

This could be confusing as many webmasters are not sure how a ‘relevant’ content looks like. A ‘relevant’ content is one that wasn’t created with a focus in SEO alone. A relevant content will be comprehensive. Every user viewing the content will be able to learn almost everything regarding the subject of the content. The content should be easy to understand, and should answer queries that the reader may think of while reading. 

Such content with semantic relevance and optimized infographics will be given a value greater than what a keyword-stuffed content would earn. The length of the content generally doesn’t matter as long as it is relevant to the subject, and full of useful information. 

2. Backlinks

Back in the day, many websites just forged backlinks to earn rank boosts. But over time, Google figured out how to weed out the bad ones from the good. Farming backlinks won’t work anymore. However, backlinks from various authoritative domains can still give a good amount of rank boost to websites. 

Backlinks are linked with the first factor we talked about. Without relevant content, it’s not easy to obtain good backlinks. Creating content that people would want to read and share is the key to earning good backlinks from reputed websites. This also emphasizes the relevance of your content to Google, earning your website a rank boost.

In addition to this, using link auditing software will also help to a certain extent. Such software can help you monitor the links in your content and their quality, and eliminate low-quality links from your content. 

3. Websites optimized for mobile devices

2016 was also the year Google shifted towards mobile-first indexing, which means the search engine giant’s crawlers will be analyzing mobile versions of websites as opposed to the desktop version. 

In 2017, Google expects websites to cater to users who access the internet through mobile-devices. The content should be responsive across all devices, and not just desktops. Google appreciates mobile-friendliness more now, and about 85% websites have met Google’s criteria last year. Google also recommends web owners to launch mobile-optimized websites only after building it completely, instead of releasing unfinished or broken versions. 

4. Technical factors

These ‘technical factors’ include those that are normally not in the spot light, namely:

Encryption – There’s a strong connection between a website’s HTTPS encryption and Google rankings. HTTPS encrypted websites will rank higher than standard HTTP websites. Google Chrome itself has started marking websites without HTTPS encryptions as unsafe.

Anchor text – Exact-match anchor text still positively influences search engine rankings. However, if the links appear strange or spammy, there’s a chance for getting yourself penalized by Penguin. The backlink anchor text should be organic for the best outcome. 

Interstitials – Interstitial pop ups that cover the content of an article or takes users to a new page might be penalized by Google as of this year. The popups can be an ad or CTA or anything that obstructs the user from viewing the content. There are exceptions though including login dialogs, banners that can be dismissed, interstitials that are legally required etc. 

H1 & H2 headings – Landing pages now have both H1 and H2 headings, and properly leveraging the H2 headings with the right keywords are likely to give a boost in search engine rankings. Many higher ranked websites have H2 in their landing pages.


SEO keeps changing and evolving over time. However Google has always given great value to quality links, rich content, and mobile-friendliness. There could be many other factors that could help your website rise up in search engine ranks. But focusing on the factors mentioned in this article could maximize the potential of your SEO efforts.