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You’ve already built an amazing website and are using all the right keywords. So how can you rank higher on Google in 2017?

Google’s algorithm is affected by the rising use of mobile searches and people looking for quick, short answers among other factors.

Here’s what you should know about Google and online searches in 2017.

Featured snippets

A featured snippet (also called a direct answer) is a summary of an answer to a query displayed on the top of the results page, often as a list of actionable bullet points or numbered steps. This summary is above other results.

Google wants to help searchers find the answers to their queries as quickly as possible so they are displaying these featured snippets more frequently on the top of their results pages.

People are finding the answers to their queries using these snippets without ever needing to click on one of the links generated in a search. Google is showing these snippets in more than 32% of queries. (In 2015, the number was 28% and that’s expected to increase dramatically.)

The featured snippets are extracted straight from the content of the website that Google determines to have the best answer to the query.

For your website, you need to think about what questions your customers are asking. Then, you should write text that directly answers these questions on your website. If your text is in the form of a list of bullet points, with the question on top, it increases the chances that Google will choose your site’s content to display in a featured snippet. So now’s the time to create that FAQ page and add these type of questions to your blogs.

Longer queries with specific intents

Users are now becoming more astute in their searches. When searching on Google and other search engines, they are using more detailed and longer queries. In response, Google is getter better at displaying results that match the user’s specific query.

To take advantage of this trend, you need to target long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are keyword phrases that are at least 3-4 words long and accurately answer your customer’s questions.

Mobile matters

Every year, more people are using their mobile devices to do searches. In 2015, mobile search surpassed desktop search and this trend is only going to increase.

Because of this, in November Google announced that they will soon release a “mobile-first” index where they will prioritize your mobile site over your desktop site when determining your rank. That means your mobile site will soon matter most of all when it comes to SEO.

Also, Google is ranking websites with “Accelerated Mobile Pages (“AMPs”) higher now. AMPs load faster on mobile than regular pages and creates mobile-simplified content for your site that shows up instantly on all mobile devices.

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you need to get a mobile version of your site now! Then, work with your webmaster to turn on Google AMP.

Google is a business

Google is a business and they are out to make money. Today, Google is sending more search traffic to ads or to websites that they own. Google is giving preference to the sites that can earn them clicks and cash. According to Moz, 49% of Google’s search traffic is going to Google-owned properties like YouTube and Google My Business.

If you want your business to show up on Google searches, promote your business on Google-owned sites like YouTube and Google Maps.

Create a YouTube channel for your business and post videos there. One great thing about YouTube is that you can link these videos to your website too, so you have multiple sites where your videos can be found.

If you’re a local business, you should have a profile on Google My Business and use Google Maps so customers can find your business.


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