Top Google Ranking Signals Officially Named

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Top Google Ranking Signals

A Googler revealed the 3 top Google ranking signals in a hangout.

Webmasters and SEOs have been wondering what the top Google ranking signals are for many years. The entire secret sauce changes pretty much every day, of course, but Google would never reveal all of its more than 200 ranking signals beyond saying, well, it has over 200 of them.

It was somewhat surprising then that last year, the company dropped the nugget in a seemingly random interview that it had a new signal, going so far as to say that it's actually the third most important one already.

That would be RankBrain, but many have probably wondered what the two above that in the pecking order are. It just so happens that Google revealed the other two of the top three this week.

And the Top Google Ranking Signals are...

The truth is it's hardly a bombshell, and the top two are probably the ones most people would guess if they were asked, but it's nice to see Google definitively spell them out. The 3 top Google ranking signals are content, links, and RankBrain.

Barry Schwartz pulled this out of a WebPromo Expert chat in which Google Search Quality Senior Strategist Andrey Lipattsev spilled the beans: "I can tell you what they are. It is content and links pointing to your site."

Asked about if he means in that order, he responded that there is no order.

The most important focuses for a successful search strategy...

So the most important things you can do for search ranking are create great content, and have people naturally link to it. RankBrain doesn't really afford you any power that we know of as it's simply a machine learning signal that helps Google internally, including (reportedly) how to weight some other signals.

For more on the impact of RankBrain, take a look at our coverage of a recent study from Stone Temple Consulting on the subject.

Ultimately, there's probably nothing here to change your approach. You knew this stuff was important. Just know going forward that it's the MOST important.

Image via YouTube

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.