It’s the answer every SEO, aspiring SEO, and search-obsessed business owner has craved for years: what matters most to Google?

Moz (and many others) have conducted a number of studies to find the answer to this question, and seem to have done so – at least as much as one can do without asking Google directly.

But now, it seems, our time has come: Google has confirmed the top three ranking factors in their search engine algorithm.

What Are Google’s Top Three Ranking Factors?

According to Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, in a Q&A session yesterday,  the top three factors in the search engine algorithm are links, content, and RankBrain – Google’s machine-learning system that uses artificial intelligence to understand human behavior and thus show the most relevant results.


Interestingly, other than stating that RankBrain is #3 in that list, Google does not order either links or content as being more important than the other. In fact, Lipattsev outright says “there is no order.”


This probably means that it depends highly on the result – which of course makes sense – but it’s an interesting revelation since pretty much every study over the years has found links as the overall highest correlating factor. But in 2016, it seems that content can be just as important, and by now that should be expected.  

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