My mantra here at Einstein’s Razor is ‘things must be made as simple as possible but no simpler’. If you want to get found, what are the things you really need to pay attention to? Google of course does not tell us so we need to listen to industry oracles who have done the research to suss out the most important factors. Here are 3 relevant articles for your analysis.
Masha Maksimava of SEO PowerSuite writes:
It’s no secret that a top Google ranking is made up of 200+ components, or “ranking signals”. But while it’s definitely useful to know what all of those are, the entire list is a very time-consuming (and frankly, a little depressing) read. It’s somewhat vague in terms of the impact of each individual factor, and all of those things don’t seem doable if you try to get each one right. With the news about another Google update or algorithm change rolling out every other week, how can anyone keep up, ever? But long-time SEO-ers have their tricks of the trade. The thing is, the 200+ ingredients in Google’s recipe aren’t all equally important. In the cheat sheet below, you’ll find the 9 most important ranking signals that multiple studies have found to have the biggest impact on rankings today. The cheat sheet is based on our own research at SEO PowerSuite, as well as this year’s ranking factors studies by SearchMetrics and Backlinko.Read on to find out what the major ranking factors are and how to optimize for them — or, download a free PDF version of this guide to always have it at hand.
Source: Google 9 main ranking factors: the ultimate cheat sheet
Aleh Barysevich of Search Engine Journal writes you need to pay attention to 4:
I remember being awestruck back in 2013 by Brian Dean’s list of more than 200 Google ranking factors. My first thought was, “Wow! Think of the work and research that went into this!” followed by, “This will be so useful!” and finally, “Oh god, there aren’t enough hours in the day for all of this.”Fortunately, not all ranking factors are created equal — you can maximize your SEO efforts by focusing on a few specific ranking factors. Of course, Google’s algorithm is always changing, and we can’t rely on yesterday’s ranking factors as we step into 2017. These top four ranking factors are based on the most recent studies by SearchMetrics, Backlinko, and my colleagues at SEO PowerSuite.Read on to discover how to optimize your site for today’s important signals.
Source: 2017’s Four Most Important Ranking Factors, According to SEO Industry Studies – Search Engine Journal
And then there’s Eric Enge who says you only need to focus on two!
How to proceed? Here’s my recommendation. If you have a limited amount of time, focus on Enge’s recommendations. If you have more time, add Aleh Barysevich’s ideas and if you are really obsessed with SEO, try to follow the recommendations of Masha Maksimava. You can download her cheat sheet here.