As we’ve written about before, serious entrepreneurs know that the key to scaling a company is having a strong online presence. Having your business appear on page one of any related product search or, better yet, as the #1 result, will do wonders not only for web traffic but also for your business’ credibility in the eyes of consumers.

The key to showing up in search results is having a high Google Ranking. Google uses about 200 ranking factors in their ever-changing, labyrinthine algorithm to determine in a God-like fashion who is high and who is low on search results. To complicate things, those factors are always shifting and changing in importance. Each new year, a bevy of changes to the algorithm are introduced, not only to accommodate changes in the web, but also to keep would-be SEO manipulators on their toes. Here are three important Google Ranking trends to keep track of in 2017 — and how to easily implement them.

1. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) will become more important.

Google results have always favored sites that are user-friendly and load faster. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) is an open-source protocol that uses a lighter version of HTML and enables pages to load nearly instantaneously on mobile devices — the median load time is 0.7 seconds for AMP and 22 seconds for non-AMP pages. Google introduced the AMP project into search results in early 2016.

Most Internet users’ search engine traffic is now through a mobile phone, and so in 2017, Google is expected to start placing an even higher priority on websites that use AMP, making AMP optimization for your website an essential.

You can optimize your website by downloading the plugin. AMP optimization kills two birds with one stone: not only will it give buoyancy to your site on Google search results, but it will reduce your bounce rate — studies show that up to 40% of your visitors will leave your site if its load time is longer than 3 seconds.

2. Keywords will become more conversational.

Voice search, like virtual reality, is one of those technologies that will be perfected to the point of ubiquity by the end of this decade. In a 2016 speech, Google’s director of conversational speech, Behshad Behzadi, said that the speech error recognition rate has been refined to just 8 percent, down from 25 percent two years ago. Already, 55% of teens claim that they use voice search on a daily basis, and that number is expected to skyrocket in 2017.

Voice search means more conversational searches. Instead of “chicken parmesan in NYC,” a Google user might speak into his or her phone “where can I find the best chicken parmesan in Chelsea.” Therefore, modifying your website’s keywords to be more organic is a must for SEO in 2017. If you’re having trouble, think of how you would use your keywords in conversation. Instead of the unimaginative “freelance designer,” a better keyword phrase in 2017 would be “where can I find a good web designer for hire today,” and so on.

3. HTTPS Sites will show up higher on search results.

In 2017, the threat of hacking grows more and more severe — just look at last year’s presidential election, and how hacking of the Democratic National Committee influenced the outcome, arguably changing the course of the country (and the world) forever.

All digital denizens would be foolish not to prioritize cyber security and taking note of that, Google is now ranking more secure websites with SSL certification (which makes a website prefaced with “HTTPS://“ as opposed to the usual, unsecured “HTTP://”) higher on its search results.

In general, you are collecting any information such as passwords or credit card certification on your site, it is already a must to get SSL (secure socket layers) certification. SSL certification,

like AMP optimization, does two things at once: Google will not only factor your site higher on search results, but users can feel more secure shopping or sending personal information to your server. SSL certification is a little tricky to implement, and it will cost you a little bit of money, but it’s easy to find instructions on the web.


About the Author

Ellie Martin is Co-founder of Startup Change Group. As author and writer, her works have been featured on Entrepreneur, Yahoo!, Wisebread and AOL, among others. She currently splits her time between her home office in New York and Israel.

Originally posted at: https://seoforgrowth.com/google-ranking-trends/

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