Google wants to give the user exactly what they are looking for, in order to do that they basically rank sites based on how much they trust them. Trust comes from many factors but here are the key ones.
Website Age– Age does matter. A business that has been operating for years will have more trust at the bank than one that has just opened. The same holds true with google online.
Quality Content– It’s all about user experience. The better a website can serve its users and deliver what they need; the more google will trust it and move it up the ranks.
Quantity of Quality Content – One page of good stuff just does not cut it anymore. Websites need depth of content to keep users engaged. Engagement is a huge ranking factor (think bounce rates).
Mobile Responsiveness– With the roll out of the mobile first index expected in 2017, this will be a major key in how a site ranks both in the mobile index but also in the normal desktop index.
Relevancy of Backlinks– having hundreds of links form sites which are completely unrelated to your niche, no longer works. The nature of the site linking back to you has become as important as its domain authority, trust flow and citation flow.
Going forward Schema data is becoming more and more important in how the google spider can index your site and thus how google interprets your content for indexing. Thankfully as adoption becomes more prevalent, implementation is becoming easier, especially on wordpress sites with the plethora of WP Schema plugins.
AMP pages will become more and more obvious. Again as adoption becomes more the ability to easily implement AMP ready pages is coming to us all. There is therefore no excuse for webmasters not to implement AMP for their websites.
Keyword research is no longer about looking at the search numbers, with the advent of quick answers and the crowded add space for commercial intent keywords , marketers have to be more precise in their goals and selection of keywords. For some real commercial intent keywords organic position number 1 is no longer above the fold.
Local SEO remains a dominant force, with the implementation of a 3 spot snack pack proper optimization and relevancy is critical to this endeavour.