What are the top three ranking signals for Google?

seo-1603927_640Although most of us have had our suspicions about the factors that have the biggest influence on Google algorithms it was not until 2016 that the truth was confirmed. Google’s, Search Quality Senior Strategist, Andrey Lipattsev provided the information during a live Q&A session. He stated that links and content were the top two ranking signals, joining RankBrain which Google had already confirmed was at number three.

We are going to take a look at these three top ranking signals. We are going to explain what they are and why they are so important if you want your online content to feature highly in search engine rankings.

Why great content is so important

There was a time when simply using a ton of keywords on your webpages actually worked; but Google has got a lot smarter since then. Since the introduction of Google Panda in 2011 quality has become a vital aspect of ensuring that your website ranks highly with search engines. This is why it was not really a surprise when content was confirmed as one of the top three ranking signals.

Over recent years Google has been determined to try and ensure that content provided on the web offers some value to the people who read it. To this end, it rewards well written and informative content with its search engine algorithm.

Why do links matter?

There are two reasons why you should work at building inbound links for your website; these are links that direct traffic from other sites to your content. The first reason to do this is obvious; your website benefits from potential additional visitors. The second reason is the one we are looking at in this article; doing so is good for SEO.

A website that is the subject of plentiful authoritative inbound links should see its search engine ranking benefit. Notice that we used the word authoritative. It’s not sufficient to just build links from any random site; it’s important that inbound links are of high quality.

What is RankBrain and why is it so important?

You may not be completely familiar with RankBrain and its use. RankBrain is an artificial intelligence system that has been used by Google since 2015. It exists to help search engines learn to recognise and interpret new searches that have not been seen before. The software enables the search engine to recognise certain words and phrases and to provide results based on what it deduces is being asked in the search. You may think that this would not be that useful; there cannot be that many unique searches can there? In fact, according to Google’s figures, 15% of daily searches are new. That is a fairly significant figure.

So there you have it; content, links and RankBrain have been confirmed as the top three ranking signals for Google. It’s important to note that we only know that content and links are numbers one and two; the order has never been confirmed and could be interchangeable. All you need to know is just how important both of these aspects are when it comes to securing a good ranking for your website. If you need any advice on how to make this information work for you then you should contact an expert in SEO who can give you the benefit of their expertise.

If you have any questions, please ask below!