When Google originally announced RankBrain, they confirmed that it was now the third most important ranking signal. And while many speculated about what the top two ranking signals were, Google wouldn’t explicitly confirm what those two most important ranking factors were… until now.
During yesterday’s WebPromo.Expert Google Q&A, Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, confirmed those two ranking signals, and they are content and links.
“I can tell you what they are. It is content. And it’s links pointing to your site,” Lipattsev said.
He was then asked which order those two ranking factors were in. “There is no order,” he replied.
While this matches what about 99% of webmasters felt were the top two ranking factors, with these being the obvious two choices (and leading to some people pondering if it could be something else as the top two), it definitely raises the question about why Google did not confirm these two ranking factors in the first place. It could have been so the focus of the story at the time was RankBrain, rather than throwing two other ranking signals into the mix. This does make sense in some ways, since RankBrain is a pretty complicated factor for many SEOs to understand, especially with many wildly inaccurate articles being published about it.
But now we do have it officially confirmed by Google, even if it isn’t much of a surprise… content and links are the top two most important ranking factors in Google.
Latest posts by Jennifer Slegg (see all)
- 2022 Update for Google Quality Rater Guidelines – Big YMYL Updates - August 1, 2022
- Google Quality Rater Guidelines: The Low Quality 2021 Update - October 19, 2021
- Rethinking Affiliate Sites With Google’s Product Review Update - April 23, 2021
- New Google Quality Rater Guidelines, Update Adds Emphasis on Needs Met - October 16, 2020
- Google Updates Experiment Statistics for Quality Raters - October 6, 2020
Tony Dimmock says
Refreshing to see a Google Search Quality engineer so transparent. If you don’t mind, I’d like to add a few links here to useful RankBrain posts (other than yours in your post), to help those who’ve read lots of mis-info:
https://moz.com/blog/rankbrain-unleashed (Gianluca Fiorelli)
http://foundationdigital.com/understanding-google-rankbrain/ (interview with Bill Slawski via Loren Baker)
http://gofishdigital.com/investigating-google-rankbrain-and-query-term-substitutions/ (Bill Slawski)
http://searchengineland.com/faq-all-about-the-new-google-rankbrain-algorithm-234440 (Danny Sullivan)
Keep up the great work 😉
Frank Watson says
Funny saying content is only going to confuse people – is it quality? is it part quantity? is it presence of facts? is it expected latent semantic associations?
it’s not keyword density right! it’s not use of emphasis tags of the content right!
Links are links – well …. But WTF is content