The 3 most important SEO ranking factors in 2018


Google’s search algorithm is constantly updated to provide more authoritative and relevant content to the general user. Techniques such as high keyword density and unnatural link building are long ineffective – since the Penguin and Panda major updates in 2012 and 2014, respectively. While there has been no major update in Google’s algorithm during the past few months, this does not mean that relevant changes were not implemented.

With that in mind, implementing white-hat, evergreen SEO techniques is becoming fundamental for any website targeting the highest ranks in Google’s search result. This article brings three SEO techniques that will not only contribute to a better ranking but also for an improved User Experience when visiting your website.

1. Implement fast, responsive and secure website

Mobile phones accounted for 60% of online searches back in 2016. Consider the fast rate at which mobile usage has been growing over the last few years, and it is fairly intuitive to conclude that portable devices dominate the world of online queries.

This brings three concerns with it. First of all, you must ensure a lightweight website that loads fast even with poor mobile internet connections. Secondly, you must focus on implementing a responsive framework that displays the information properly in both small and large screens. Finally, you must develop a secure website – https protocol is mandatory, in addition to other security measures – that guarantees user privacy and security even without the usage of front-end technologies (such as JavaScript).

2. Focus on high-quality, in-depth articles about specific topics

50% of search queries contain at least four words. This means that online users are targeting more specific topics and looking for authoritative advice from reliable websites. In fact, the latest updates in Google’s search algorithm have been focused on prioritizing content quality and website authority.

When creating a piece of content (be it a blog post, a video, a white paper, or any other type), focus on dissecting a topic to its full extent and on offering high value to your customer. A great example is how MOZ offers in-depth SEO tips on its Whiteboard Friday category. Other elements that compose a great piece of content involve optimized meta descriptions (which recently have been extended to up to 300 characters), rich snippets and schema markup, and extensive research focusing on specific long-tail keywords.

3. Build a solid network of backlinks from authoritative websites

Despite Google’s penalties targeting excessive and unnatural link building, backlinks are still at the heart of online authority for a simple reason: great content receives great publicity. Once your content starts standing out among the competition, it will become natural for related websites to mention your website when writing about your industry – just like we mention articles from MOZ and HubSpot.

Google is constantly moving towards favoring websites that deliver more value to their customers. Technical aspects are definitely important (after all, a fast-loading, responsive website with varied markups for better search functionalities definitely delivers higher customer value), but your focus should always be on how you can deliver more value to your customer through your content. This is Google’s ultimate focus, and you will notice a sensible increase in search ranks if you make it a primary part of your online marketing strategy!

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