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Google Releases the Top 3 Ranking Factors

Most of Google’s rank algorithm is shrouded in mystery. We have to take them at their word when they say social media isn’t a ranking factor (not directly, at least), and guess where factors that used to matter (like keywords) stand. Rarely do they come straight out and tell us what the more than 200 ranking signals are and where they stand in the hierarchy.

Last year, Google announced that RankBrain, their artificial intelligence system, was one of the top three ranking signals.

Yesterday, during a Q&A session Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, named the two other top signals in response to a question by Ammon Johns.

Those two signals? Links and content.

That means the top three ranking factors, according to Google, are RankBrain, links, and content. Andrey also stated there was “no order” when asked for clarification on the order of importance.

You can watch the full Q&A session below. The discussion about ranking signals begins around the 30-minute mark.

So, What Does It Mean?

We’ve known for a long time that content and links matter, though the importance of links has come into question in recent years. For most SEOs, this should not change anything about their day-to-day strategies. It does give us another piece of the ranking factor puzzle and provides content marketers with more ammo to defend their practice and push for growth.


Featured Image: Shutterstock | ImageFlow

Category SEO
Danielle Antosz

Danielle is the former Features Editor for Search Engine Journal and the producer of SEJ Marketing Nerds podcast. She lives ...

Google Releases the Top 3 Ranking Factors

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