Google Releases the Top 3 Ranking Factors

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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

Danielle Antosz

Danielle Antosz

Features Editor at Search Engine Journal
Danielle is the Features Editor for Search Engine Journal and the producer of SEJ Marketing Nerds podcast. She lives in Chicago, where she spends her... Read Full Bio
Danielle Antosz
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  • Ruchi Gupta

    This was Indeed a very informative Post Danielle.

  • Zafong Technologies

    Thank you for sharing very useful article.

  • Syed Afzal Ali

    This is so obvious that there wasn’t a need of writing a post about it. We all know, in light of Panda and Penguin, that content and backlink profile are the two major ranking factors for on page and off page optimization respectively.

  • Andrew Martin

    Found the language content topic (c.45min mark) really interesting, and the potential/problems that this creates.

  • Photo Editing Company

    I love your website. I really enjoyed reading the information in herer.

    Keep it up. Love to see more post from you. Thank you for sharing.

  • Paul

    Time to concentrate on content and links. After the panda updates we thought that links are waste and do not build too much links but now we will try to build more links to get higher ranking.

  • Palash Kumar Daw

    Thank’s a lot sharing with us this conversion.

  • sarath kumar

    Thank a lot for sharing…

  • Bilal Safdar

    If you want high quality backlinks like Forbes,Entrepreneur Magazine etc, Than you should create a high quality infographic in your niche. I got high quality links from these sites without any connection.

    • Ravish Sundriyal

      Hi Bilal, totally agree to your point. Can you share any resources which can help in generating quality backlinks?

      • Bilal Safdar

        In start, I haven’t any source, When i did promote an excellent info then earned many white hat links from Big sites, So you don’t need any connection or source. Just find a killer topic and make an info for it then start right promotion.

  • salman qureshi

    lets apply it on my blog..: