SEO Best Practices for 2017From the beginning, Google’s core search algorithm offered the most relevant and organic search results quickly and accurately on a simple site that has now become synonymous with the search giant’s business. Searching amidst the world’s vast data, Google cleverly catalogued and categorized pages using its PageRank formula, which assessed the quantity and power of links to any given webpage.

For a few years, Google’s search worked seamlessly, repeatedly predicting the most relevant search results every single time, again and again. In fact, it was so good that it sent shockwaves through the internet, digitally obliterating its rivals over time. However, as Google’s clever search engine grew into a colossus corporation, and both individuals and businesses realized the inherent power of appearing organically at the top of any search, things began to change.

The changes occurred at the behest of some unscrupulous characters who were hell-bent on gaming the system. Once they learned the majority of the rules, they began poking and prodding Google’s innards by building massive link farms and content farms, spinning low-quality articles, and auto-generating links in an effort to outgun other listings and secure the top spots on Google’s lucrative Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

As a result, Google introduced several adjustments to its algorithm that went by the names of Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, just to name a few.

Before we dive into some of the best practices for succeeding in SEO, we need to take a closer look at the fundamentals of Google’s search engine.

The truth? Most people look at SEO the wrong way. They look at ways to do the least amount of work for the greatest initial return, when in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Obviously SEO is one of the best skills that you can possibly learn, but in order to succeed with it, you need to do the most amount of work for the least initial return. It’s a slow, steady and painful process.

Simply put, in the beginning, Google doesn’t trust you. If Google doesn’t trust you, you’re not going to rank on those lucrative first-page SERPs. You’ll be lost in the fray amidst millions of others who’re trying to claw their way to the top. So, the first real guiding principle of SEO is trust. When you have Google’s trust, you’ll consistently rank highly. When you lack its trust, you’ll be lost in low-ranking webpages. And no one wants that.

Trust Component 1: Indexed Age

Google cares deeply about the indexed age of both your site and its content. A brand new site that’s a newcomer to Google is going to have a far harder time ranking on its SERPs than a site that has indexed age. Indexed age refers to the date that Google discovered the domain or webpage in question, not when it was originally registered or released.

Trust Component 2: Authority Profile

Google wants to see a healthy link profile that signifies authority. This means quality links coming from quality content across the web with a healthy diversity. It cares about the importance of the sites that are linking to your domain, but also the quality of the content those links are coming from. Further, it’s looking for IP-diverse links, meaning they shouldn’t all be coming from the same source. And it’s looking for a healthy link velocity where high-quality links are being created with increased frequency over time.

Trust Component 3: Underlying Content

The underlying content is extremely important. Too many people skimp on content, but it’s one of the major anchors that tether you to Google’s relevancy algorithms. Thin content with errors, or duplicate content and spun content can really hurt you. Instead, the content not only has to be lengthy, but it has to be well-written, keyword centric and highly engaging where readers are spending a good amount of time digesting and consuming that content.

How to Dominate SEO in 2017

Like everyone else, you’re likely wondering how you can appear relevantly and organically on Google’s SERPs. Well, whether you’re doing SEO in 2017 or any other year, it’s important to pay homage to the components of trust. But, there are in fact 200+ factors that attribute to your rank in Google’s current algorithm. You can discover those 200+ algorithm factors in any of my SEO books. However, on a more general note, there are some rules you should be following.

The following rules will help you to dominate SEO in 2017. And no matter what Google changes moving forward, these rules will still provide the bedrock that you should govern your online activities around in order to make the greatest progress on those all-important SERPs. Follow these rules and you’ll find yourself inching closer and closer to SEO domination on Google. Just remember that it won’t happen overnight. It’ll take time.