Google Confirms its Three Most Important Ranking Factors

The three most important factors in Google’s algorithm are content, links and Rankbrain, Google’s new artificial intelligence system.

The revelation was made earlier in the month in a live seminar with Senior Google Search Quality Strategist and SEO expert and Andrey Lipattsev.

During the seminar, Andrey confirmed that Rankbrain is the third most important ranking factor, while content and links are the most important factors (but not in any particular order).

Though it’s been known that these three areas are major factors in the algorithm, this is the only statement that Google has provided that confirms the extent to which they affect search queries.

Rankbrain’s Influence on Modern Search

Rankbrain is the name for Google’s artificial intelligence system and was launched in October 2015. It uses advanced mathematics formulas to help the search engine to identify language used in searches that it may be unfamiliar with.

Rankbrain’s purpose is to bring users more relevant results by using mechanical intuition in a similar way that a person would if asked a question. As voice search and searching for questions directly becomes increasingly popular, it’s a response to current changes in user behaviour.

Keeping up with Google’s Algorithm

Google’s algorithm has seen many changes over the 17 years of its existence in order to improve search quality. Its exact composition is a closely guarded secret, but it is estimated to be made up of over 200 different ranking factors.

Despite the exact algorithm being kept under lock and key, Google publish guidelines, tools and resources to give webmasters a sufficient amount of information on what their algorithms are looking for when ranking websites.

We can take away several lessons from this statement. Firstly, no matter how much the algorithm changes over time, the content of a website and its online reputation will always be a key factor in how it’s ranked.

Since Google has confirmed that artificial intelligence has become a larger part of the algorithm, it’s clear that they are constantly working to find new ways of gauging the overall quality of websites.

Meaning in order to succeed in search it’s more important than ever to optimise and improve not only for search engines, but for the user.

If you would like to find out more about ranking factors and how to make your site compliant with Google’s changing algorithms contact us.

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