Google finally confirms top 3 search ranking factors

By March 24, 2016SEO

Yesterday, Andrey Lipattsev, a search quality senior strategist at Google, confirmed the top 3 search ranking factors:

  1. Website content
  2. Links pointing to your website
  3. RankBrain (what is RankBrain?)

Naturally, each of the 3 primary factors mentioned here have a number of sub-factors. You can see those on the periodic table of SEO success factors below.

Why is the ranking factors announcement important?

SEO agencies have understood the importance of content for some time now. But, Google, though mentioning that it was an important factor, hadn’t previously confirmed just how important content was in determining search rank. So, it turns out that, as the saying goes, content is king.

That’s not to say that links aren’t important. Clearly, relevant, high authority links still play an important role. That’s why, here at Uptica, we only work with white hat, non-spammy links and websites.

You can self-evaluate your website.

Google has spelled out the top 3 major factors. But, as mentioned above, each of these have a number of sub-factors that make up the whole. Take a look through the period table of SEO success factors below (used with permission from Search Engine Land).

Download PDF version of Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors Download PDF version


Download PDF version of Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors Download PDF version

Did the audit reveal SEO issues on your website?

It’s very rare to have a website that meets all the best practice criteria outlined in the table above.

Depending on the size and scope of your website, you can either address the issues in-house or hire a white hat SEO agency to help with some of the bigger issues. For example, at Uptica, we help several clients with ongoing SEO work like this. Contact Uptica to get a free website SEO audit.

What is RankBrain?

Bloomberg wrote an article that describes what RankBrain is and how it uses machine learning to help analyze and improve result relevancy for never-before-seen search queries.


“RankBrain uses artificial intelligence to embed vast amounts of written language into mathematical entities — called vectors — that the computer can understand. If RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words or phrases might have a similar meaning and filter the result accordingly, making it more effective at handling never-before-seen search queries.”

You can also read more about RankBrain on Search Engine Land.

Talk now: 323-813-1789

mautic is open source marketing automation