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Search Engine Land releases the 2017 Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Last month, Search Engine Land released the 2017 edition of its “Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors,” a summary of the major factors contributing to search engine optimization success. This year, three categories of ranking factors rose to prominence: mobile-friendliness, site speed, and direct answers.


Today, more than half of all Google searches are performed on mobile devices. As such, the tech giant has pushed mobile-friendly websites toward the top of search results for years. This shift will eventually culminate in the launch of Google’s ‘mobile-first index,’ meaning search results will be ranked based on websites’ mobile versions, even for desktop searches.

Google’s Gary Illyes announced last week that the mobile-first index was still many months away, but that doesn’t mean your website won’t benefit from being mobile-friendly. Responsive website design benefits your SEO and ensures that your customers can easily navigate your site on whichever device they prefer.

Site Speed

Beyond all else, Google wants to display the websites that provide relevant information and a great user experience. Site speed is fundamental to this equation, which is why Google has been stressing its importance to search engine optimization.

Site speed is also an important element of mobile-friendliness. Accelerated mobile pages (AMP), which load seamlessly on mobile devices, have proven extremely popular among users and are being featured prominently in search results.

Direct Answers

Direct answers are short pieces of information – often called ‘featured snippets’ – that instantly resolve searchers’ queries and display above regular, organic listings. Many SEOs consider them something of an annoyance, as they may discourage users from visiting websites.

However, if content from your website appears in the featured snippet, you will display above all other paid and organic listings, so there are good reasons to compete for this spot. The growing prominence of voice search, mobile assistants, and home speaker devices will make these sorts of search results increasingly important in the years to come.

As a Premier Google Partner All-Star Agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media is always adapting our search engine optimization approach to ensure our SEO clients maintain excellent visibility in Google’s organic search results.

Photo credit: École polytechnique – J.Barande/Flickr