Tag Archive for: search factors


Google has always kept it search engine ranking algorithm a closely guarded secret, but it is finally letting webmasters and online marketers in on the three most important factors for ranking well. Google has confirmed the top three ranking factors are links, content, and RankBrain.

The news isn’t much of a surprise. Links have long been one of the most important signals for websites, and content has become an essential cornerstone of SEO in recent years.

Google said RankBrain was the third most important ranking signal last year, but its inclusion is still a little puzzling. RankBrain is technically a part of the Google algorithm, but it is hard to call it a search signal so much as an artificial intelligence system which informs Google’s main search algorithm.

Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, confirmed the top two are links and content during a Google hangout yesterday. Lipattsev was asked what the top search signals are, to which he told SEOs:

I can tell you what they are. It is content and links pointing to your site.

Of course, there are over 200 search signals and Lipattsev suggested “there is no order” to the most important search signals, so don’t expect a complete ordered list of search factors anytime soon.

You can see the video of the Google hangout below, with Lipattsev responding to the question around the 30:20 point.


Every year, Moz publishes a complete review of the search ranking factors that most influenced the search results pages for the year. Now, they have released their latest study, which they say is the largest they have yet to do.

The study attempts to lift the veil on Google’s search ranking factors by surveying industry experts and using correlation studies to measure the search results and rankings. This year, Moz interviewed over 150 leading search experts, as well as using data from their own correlation studies and data from SimilarWeb, DomainTools, and Ahrefs.

The most notable finding from the new study is that, despite continuous cries of “links are dead”, links to the domain and page level are still the highest ranking factor for Google. The lowest factors included in the study were social metrics, TLDs, and basic on-page markup such as schema.

The infographic below summarizes the findings of the study, but you can also see the full study for more in-depth details.