By Jesse Stoler
01 Apr 2015

2017 Search Ranking Signals Released

Basic SEO

I have a confession to make: I’m Banksy pretty close with the employees at Google.

You might know me as a staff writer here on Linkarati, the greatest online community for link builders. The greatest offline community? The closest locally-owned coffee shop.

An unfortunate truth for all SEOs is that we don’t have any first-hand knowledge about how Google’s algorithm works. We have case studies for days, and we can draw conclusions from them. But it’s not like we really have any access to their most sensitive information. You’re thinking of Sony.

So no, we can’t definitively state how the algorithm works… until now.

Because I’m such an influencer in the SEO sphere, my friends at Google gave me inside information about the ranking signals of the future. It’s my responsibility as an SEO to keep you informed about the algorithm changes that are coming.

2017 Search Ranking Signals Released


1. Clickbait Headlines or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Myself After Reading Tip #4

  1. Notice how this tip is never the one that will shock you or change your life? Seems like faulty ranking to me.
  2. The tip that shocks you.
  3. You can’t believe this hyperbolic headline garbage is going to help you rank
  4. The tip you came for, and it’s completely underwhelming. They got you again.
  5. Advice that’s actually kind of useful.
  6. More inane garbage, but you’ll rank

2. Proper Spoiler Alerts

Google’s CEO Larry Page is still pissed that he knew about Will’s death on The Good Wife before he had a chance to watch it on his DVR. You’ll have a better chance of ranking if you put in the proper spoiler tags before Page watches the Real Housewives of Atlanta episode where Kenya and Phaedra make up.

3. Amount of Money Google Bought it For

In five years, after Google decides to finally just go for it and buy every single website, they’ll start ranking sites according to how much money they spent. The same way your pretentious hipster friend displays his most prized David Bowie vinyls more visibly than the forgotten krautrock records he found at the thrift store.

4. Myspace Likes

Sorry you’ve spent all this time figuring out how to get people to retweet your content or how to manipulate Facebook’s news feed algorithm. In a surprise move, likes on Myspace from ten years ago are going to be far more important for your SEO endgoals. Linkin Park will rank for every query ever.

5. Content by Jesse Stoler

If you run a website, and you host an article written by the extraordinary Jesse Stoler, your site will rank in the top five for the most competitive queries. All you have to do is hire Jesse Stoler to write content for your site. You can request Jesse Stoler’s services here. Or here. Here too. He accepts all major credit cards, checks, cash, PayPal, and chocolate oatmeal stouts. He doesn’t understand BitCoin, so if that’s all you can offer, keep walkin’.

6. Mobile (Alabama) Optimization

Sorry SEOs, but you have this one all wrong. Yes, there’s an update on April 21. No, it has nothing to do with users on mobile devices. If you’re website doesn’t cater to the 194,899 citizens of Mobile, Alabama, you’re screwed. How many ways can you stuff the words “roll” and “tide” into your URL structures?

7. Online Gambling Pages Where You Can ONLY Bet With Money You Received from a Payday Loan Site

You didn’t see that coming, did you?

8. Casting Aspersions on Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook

I don’t want to say that Google is petty, but you’ll be doing your website a favor if you can sneak in catty and slanderous references about their major competitors in tech.

“Oh cool, Apple is trying to appeal to the young crowd by giving away U2 albums. Next year, they’re going to promote the Apple TV by announcing they come with every episode ever of I Love Lucy. Or because it’s Apple and they never miss a shameless branding opportunity, iLove Lucy.”

9. Kickstarter Campaign to Buy Gary Ilyes a Yacht in the Shape of a Penguin

Feature a widget in your sidebar that raises funds that will allow the new head of the webspam team to buy his maltese falcon, and you’re going to be on the first page. If you think a yacht in the shape of a unicorn is too lavish, he’s also been keeping his eye on the outrageously priced Apple Watch (don’t tell his boss.)

10. AdWords… Tattooed On Your Face

Currently, your PPC ad buy does NOT influence organic search rankings. But in five years, once Elon Musk has converted all of our brains into computers, the human billboard guy will be a relic of the past. The more impressions you pay, the higher your webbrain will rank.

11. Shirtless Pictures of Ryan Gosling

Even if this doesn’t become a ranking factor, you should be uploading these anyway.

12. Pictures of Cats

You thought your delusional, elderly next door neighbor was just hoarding cats. In reality, she’s the next generation online tycoon. Or at least she will be, once she figures out how to put her Polaroid pictures into the computer box.

13. Shirtless Pictures of Ryan Gosling Holding Cats That Are Wearing Shirts With Pictures of Ryan Gosling Shirtless on Them

You didn’t know you wanted it until this very moment.

14. Positive Reviews of Google Glass

Because even Google needs a pick-me-up after a public failure. Google will reward you if you write a positive review of their famed wearable.

  • “5/5. Would Glass again.”
  • “I’ve always wanted to experience the Internet AND accelerate the decay of my eyesight simultaneously. Thanks Google Glass!”
  • “It’s easier than ever to surreptitiously take pictures of my ex-girlfriend moving on with her life. She may have an affluent and handsome fiancee, but I have a freakin’ computer on my face.”
  • “Who DOESN’T want to spend 1500 dollars on a product that is prohibited in more locations than even most firearms?”

15. Quizzes to determine which New Girl Character Are You

“Who’s that girl? Who’s that girl? It’s…. Schmidt? Oh come on, I’m not THAT narcissistic, am I? I’m more of a good-hearted guy, like Nick. I have my faults, but I’m always gonna be there for you.”

Yes, I watch way too much of this show.

16. Smell-o-Net

There was a time when movie theaters invested in smell-o-vision, a technology that allowed gave patrons scratch-and-sniff cards so they could enjoy the film with an additional sense. That practice is obsolete now, thanks in no small part to the fart as a family scene from The Nutty Professor.

To add to the online experience, smell-o-net will be invented, and it will be essential for your SEO. In a related story, the website for the state of New Jersey will be deindexed.

17. How Close You Are to a Drone

If you don’t think Google is investing in drone technology, you must be one of those people who thinks your Congressman is actually working for the public good and not malevolent corporate interests. How cute.

18. LOL-Meter

Everytime you laugh, the microphone in your smartphone will pick up that sound, and Google will measure it and use those laughs as a signal. So if you didn’t think Buzzfeed was annoying enough already, wait until they insert a laugh track that plays with every gif.

19. Personal Information Volunteered

Google is like your parents when you move away from home: they can know everything about you, but somehow they still want to know more. Sites will be rewarded in the SERPs for asking seemingly random, yet deeply personal questions for newsletter signups. They’ll earn rankings after selling that information to Google. As of tomorrow, our Linkarati newsletter signup will ask how you how many alcoholic beverages you consume on average in a month. At least now you know why.

20. Google Gallop

Your site will have a better chance of ranking if you invest in Google’s new and innovative technology, Gallop. It’s a small button that will allow you to buy household essentials in the blink of an eye. NO, IT’S NOT ANYTHING LIKE AMAZON DASH, OKAY?! STOP SAYING THAT!

21. Politically Correct Language

The Internet is famous for being more racist than even a Sigma Alpha Epsilon house in Oklahoma. Google is making plans to release an algorithm that will act as a vigilante in the fight against online epithets. The algorithm is ready, but Google execs are dealing with internal backlash after asking international employees to write down the slurs they deem most offensive.

Jesse Stoler

Jesse Stoler has years of experience in the SEO industry. His hobbies include stand up comedy and pretending he has fans.