SEMrush SEO Ranking Factors 2017 Report Cites Factors Google Denies As Ranking Signals

Nov 14, 2017 - 7:29 am 27 by


SEMrush, the popular SEO toolset company, have released their 2017 study on Google ranking factors, which they believe matter most to rank well in Google. This is the second year this company has released their data on this, after many other companies have been doing similar studies over the past several years.

SEMrush analyzed 600,000 keywords across all their datasets globally and looked at the first 100 search results for all those keywords. Their study saw these key findings, but keep in mind, some of these factors Google has denied they use as a ranking signal completely, such as web site traffic and web site user behavior metrics such as bounce rates, time on site, etc.

The SEMrush top factors are:

  • Direct website traffic is pegged as the top Google ranking factor in this study.
  • User behavior signals such as time on site, pages per session and bounce rate.
  • Backlink factors are extremely important for rankings.
  • Although the anchor text in backlinks are not as important as a ranking factor.
  • Each backlink factor does impact each other, so "your positions are unlikely to change if you boost the values for one factor but ignore others," the study says.
  • Branded keywords will always return more relevant but less popular websites on the first position
  • Domains with HTTPS tend to be in the top of the pack.
  • The on-page SEO factors such as the presence of keywords in title, meta description and body of the text proved to be significantly less influential than other factors the study added.
Here is a breakdown of the 17 factors they measured:

click for full size

It is interesting how they specifically go after signals that Google has repeatedly claimed not to be ranking signals, don't you think?

You can see the full study over here.

Also make sure to check the SMX East panel I ran named SEO ranking factors coverage just a few weeks ago.

Forum discussion at Twitter.


Popular Categories

The Pulse of the search community


Search Video Recaps

Google Volatility, Indexing Bugs, Google Ads Broad Match Default & YouTube SEO Tips - YouTube
Video Details More Videos Subscribe to Videos

Most Recent Articles

Search Forum Recap

Daily Search Forum Recap: July 15, 2024

Jul 15, 2024 - 10:00 am
Google Search Engine Optimization

Google To Host More Creator Meetings

Jul 15, 2024 - 7:51 am

Google Tests AI-Organized Local Search Results Page

Jul 15, 2024 - 7:41 am

Report: Google AI Overviews Barely Showing Reddit Or Quora Citations Anymore

Jul 15, 2024 - 7:31 am

Google May Be Rolling Out 3D/AR Images More Widely

Jul 15, 2024 - 7:21 am
Google Search Engine Optimization

Google: Removing Massive Disavow Lists Should Not Worry You

Jul 15, 2024 - 7:11 am
Previous Story: Hole Punch History: Google Celebrates The 131st Anniversary Of The Hole Puncher