What About Google Ranking in 2017?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Strategic Digital Marketing Consultant - http://www.coleconnectmarketing.com

I just read an article by MarketingProfs called, "The Most Important Google Search Rank Factors." They talked about what factors are involved in how one is ranked on Google. To me, there are 2 extremely important parts in having your business grow and they are the following:

1. Website - Good content that speaks to the needs of your visitors is extremely important as it definitely has an effect on the next factor.

2. Ranking - This is pretty much ever-changing, but it probably as important as #1 in that the website does you no good unless it is found on the 1st page of the search results. I've seen some crazy good real estate websites of LinkedIn connections, but have had to jump through hoops to find them on Google. 


So I am always studying the process of ranking and as I said, it changes as much as Facebook changes which is A LOT and OFTEN. The article I referenced was based on an analysis conducted in 2016 of Google search results for 10,000 keywords.


The really important message or takeaway was this:

 "Except for important technical standards, there are no longer any specific factors or benchmark values that are universally valid for all online marketers and SEOs. Instead, there are different ranking factors for every single industry or even every single search query. And these now change continuously."


Here's the infographic itself that speaks to the specific factors involved in ranking, but I'm going to break it down as much as I can for you.


Let's start with CONTENT. It is becoming more about relevance. What I mean by that is say I search "Homes for sale in Winter Park, Florida" and I pull up NicoleMickle.com "Homes for sale in Winter Park, Florida." Those are keywords, but relevance is what I find when I click over to her site and see that it speaks to the subject matter and it is not just in the title. This also plays into user behavior which will be our next subject. 

So now we study the USER SIGNALS through their actions such as their CTR (click through rate), time on site and bounce rate. Why? If the user clicks through and is on the site for a period of time then Google says that was a good search result. If they click through and they "bounce" right out then we know it was not a good result and that can bode badly for Google. This is why Google places so much stock into their strategy of providing a good user experience and it is why they are #1 in what they do. 


"The presence of a few TECHNICAL requirements, such as H1 tags and HTTPS encryption, help pages rank well across almost all keywords, the analysis found." I thought this part was very interesting. SEMrush has a great Site Audit Tool which will help you check the technical side of your website ranking along with other factors. I use it myself.

This portion of the graph points to the USER EXPERIENCE in that it factors into account how easy it is to follow the content. The size of the font is important as readers want to easily scan the document. The number of images are a new measure of importance and so on. Remember that Google is all about meeting the needs of the searcher. 

According to their data research, SOCIAL SIGNALS are down all the way around and so don't count on them to improve your ranking. 


This is a bit confusing because I had read from other reports that BACKLINKS were not in major focus anymore, but according to this they are still playing a part. 


I'm not a google ranking expert, but I do try to keep up with it. I'm sure there are others who are experts on this subject and I welcome their input.


My bottom line is that I use keyword research to discover what my clients' target market is interested in and then I plan content around that subject. I now know a lot more than I did before and I plan on utilizing it. I hope this helps others as well. 



This week's featured client is Gwen Daubenmeyer of The Integrity Team in Rochester, Michigan.



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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

                        Thank you Sarah Cole 

Jan 14, 2017 05:56 PM #9
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Good morning, Sarah Cole I need to reread this one.... that's alot of content for my paygrade....but quality that I need to absorb and retain.... SEO is like learning a new language and I've been learning it from Katerina Gasset for 7 year.... tough teaching old dogs!!

Jan 15, 2017 04:54 AM #10
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker

Good morning Sarah. Have to come back and study your content further later in the day!. Enjoy your day!

Jan 15, 2017 05:52 AM #11
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good Morning Gwen - thanks for a  very informative blog.  I am going to try Semrush.

Jan 15, 2017 06:22 AM #12
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Sarah Cole ,

An awesome post that I caught on Kathy Streib's Sunday post of her "light bulb" moments for the week. Thanks for the great information!!

Jan 15, 2017 06:27 AM #13
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Thank you for an insightful post.  Understanding Google ranking is a challenge for most of us.  What we understand one week seems to change the next.  Your insight is very helpful.

Jan 15, 2017 06:29 AM #14
Corinne Guest
Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
The Choice of Professionals for Luxury Home Buying

Some definite changes happened late 2016 and now are to be used for 2017. Rank Brain has many answers if you care to keep up to date which is no easy task at all.

Jan 15, 2017 06:34 AM #15
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Thanks for  great read Sarah. Getting noticed and ranked by Google certainly does keep changing, aand becoming more complex. Bookmarked for some more reading. Figuring out what to actually do to actualy get noticed more reaily is a challenge.


Jan 15, 2017 07:44 AM #16
Carol Williams
U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business. - Wenatchee, WA
"Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services"

When I was an active agent, I watched my statistics and, particularly, time-on-site.  I worked the keyword SEO strategy very diligently but I think it's more complicated now.  I am now semi-retired and have stopped thinking about all that.  I just write what I think will be interesting and useful to my audience here on AR.  Thanks for this very interesting and informative post, Sarah.

Jan 15, 2017 07:59 AM #17
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Sarah, this was just EXCELLENT info and I was with you for most of it! I had attended a webinar of Katerina Gasset's earlier this week, (she's an ambassador and expert on SEO) and she said many of these things. Long content was also one of the points she mentioned, so I did what I call my "epic" post, with lots of links, videos, photos. One of the things she mentioned is doing a Table of Contents. I couldn't figure that out on this post, but I'll get there! 

Asking and answering questions was a big one, too. So, that's what I did with ten questions buyers ask about my Fishhawk Lake market and I'm also breaking it up into shorter posts for ActiveRain, as I did the 2200+ word one on my oldest website. I DO rank on page 1 consistently and part of it is the age of my website, which I know Google looks at. 

Jan 15, 2017 09:53 AM #18
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

This year is going to be the year I get my own website, separate from what my company is providing.  I know the company is getting the google juice from all of those websites they give us.

Jan 15, 2017 09:55 AM #19
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

The ranking rules are constantly changing.  It allowed about just two recent blogs per agent. Now it displaced just AR since I have several 100s of recent blogs.  I checked our top millionaries from AR their ranking from AR seem to be on decline.  So I am not alone.

As for internet marketing -Z is changing Premier agent to allow big ticket franchise and ignore the individual small agents as their revenue comes from. Yes, people pay $900/mo for each zip but bigger brokerage pay more...... With that said I get from Trla w/o paying a dime.  This time from a Trla data miner and a new agent wanting advice.   

Jan 15, 2017 10:40 AM #20
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Excellent and very helpful. I've never really been able to grasp seo at all!

Jan 15, 2017 01:08 PM #21
Melissa Jackson
Citiwide Alliance Realty - Weatherford, TX
Helping You Make The Right Move

Thanks for sharing this information. I am bookmarking, will take more than a one time read. 

Jan 15, 2017 02:57 PM #22
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Ranking seems much like trying to hit a constantly changing AND moving target, Sarah Cole.  The info you share alerts and reminds me of that fact ... and gives me some tools to work with moving forward.  I don't begin to suggest I understand it all ... but even what small portion I can understand and utilize certainly helps.  Thank you ...


Jan 15, 2017 03:37 PM #23
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

Yes indeed! An ever changing target of "things to do". I am always making adjustments and providing new content. It is something that needs a good deal of attention to stay on top. 

Jan 15, 2017 04:51 PM #24
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Sarah Cole - wow! This is such an information post!

I rarely watch the stats on my site - looks like it's easier than what I think of. And my site may start ranking higher up....

Jan 15, 2017 08:14 PM #25
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

there is so much information here and it is after 11 so the best I could do is bookmark this one! Thanks! I'll be back to read it when I can begin to absorb all this information

Jan 15, 2017 08:17 PM #26
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I can see why Kathy chose to highlight your post this week...great job!

Jan 16, 2017 07:06 AM #27
Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.

I too have trouble keeping up with this topic. I just know what I want... 1) that is to find my stuff easily; 2) to be able to read the content without having to enlarge the viewing scale; 3) to see enough photos to understand what I am seeing, or to make a decision; and 4) That the writer uses paragraphs and the info is not a one-paragraph epistle!

Jan 16, 2017 07:21 AM #28
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