Critical SEO Factors for 2017: Key Elements from The Periodic Table of SEO

The 2017 edition of the periodic table of SEO success factors is interesting not because new elements were added, but because it holds a few surprises on what are not that important any more.

For advanced and amature SEO’s, this blog can serve as a quick reference for what to defocus from and what to focus on. I have kept the exhaustive details out, but, if you need those details and are curious about how the scores are derived, feel free to read the original article.

The 2017 edition is the 4th installment of the Periodic Table. Notable changes from the 2015 version are:

  • Mobile, Direct Answers & Site Speed have gained greater value
  • Search history has decreased its importance
  • Site Identity and Social Sharing have been dropped

Factors with increased value:

Mobile – Mobile is more important than ever. It’s score increased to +3 from +2 in 2015. With 50% of Google searches on mobile devices, there is undoubtedly a need for mobile-friendly content. Plus, by the end of 2018, Google will use a “Mobile First Index” even for the desktop users.

Speed – Google continues to push for faster sites, thus emphasizing “speed” as an important ranking factor. Implementing the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is widely backed by Google. The value of speed has increased from +1 to +2 in 2015.

We expect speed to continue to play an important role in the long term as more and more people move to mobile and the number of consumers craving for speed increases.

Direct Answers – This factor was added in 2015 with +1 value but now has gained a higher value of +2. With Google and Bing increasingly showing direct answers culled from webpages above regular listings (featured snippets in Google), it is a critical component for ranking.

Given these results are directly proportional to searcher’s intent and fits right in Google’s mantra of “relevent content,” we expect this to continue to gain more importance in the future. Therefore, companies should start looking at their sites as content publishing platforms that cater to the needs of the target audience.

Factors with drop in value:

Site History – The value of site history dropped to + 1 (from +2 in 2015 edition), as Google seems to have downplayed the importance of a site’s age or history.

Personal Search History – This dropped to + 2 as compared to +3 in the 2015 edition. This is an interesting twist, and it will only benefit the consumer who keeps looking for new and relevant sites that cater to their needs.

Factors dropped:

Identity – This factor dropped from the table as Google has blocked authorship entirely in June 2016 (a way to link content you create with a Google+ profile).

Social – Google+’s impact on Google search has decreased. Therefore, this factor was dropped from the table.

In Conclusion:

The Periodic Table is an interesting way to view citical SEO parameters. I have personally used it for training and it sits really well with aspiring SEO geeks.

The periodic table by no means should be the sole guiding force for your SEO efforts. It should be a guidance for information on factors that are most or least important.

Do not forget, your main objective with SEO is to continue to focus on the searcher and personas you want to target. So developing quality and relevant content is most important, followed by the right site architechure. Ranking and traffic will follow as long as you do not spam or use black hat techniques.

Leave your comments below or write to us. Feel free to give us your details and we will get in touch with you if you need SEO help.

Sajjan Kanukolanu

Sajjan Kanukolanu

Sajjan is a marketer with business and technology background. For the past 16 years, Sajjan has been driving digital and marketing strategies for Fortune 500 firms globally. He has held senior strategic and account roles at Ogilvy, Razorfish and Wunderman in the US and Asia. Brands he worked on include- Cisco, SONY, AMEX, AT&T, Allstate, Nokia, Siemens, and Match.com to name a few.