Google Ireland’s search quality senior strategist, Andrey Lipattsev, revealed in a Q&A on March 23 that inbound links, content, and RankBrain are Google’s top three search ranking factors.
Google revealed last year that RankBrain, its machine learning algorithm, is the search engine’s third most important search ranking factor.
But when Lipattsev was asked in yesterday’s Q&A what the top two ranking factors are, he replied, “I can tell you what they are. It is content and links pointing to your site.”
When asked which is more important for search rankings, links or content, Lipattsev replied “There is no order.” He also warned viewers that RankBrain is only sometimes the third most important factor and stated, “Take this with a grain of salt.”
Lipattsev also said, “It’s not like having three links is X important and having five keywords is Y important and RankBrain is some Z factor that is also somehow important, and then you multiply all of that. That’s not how this works.”
While we aren’t surprised that links and content are important search ranking factors, it’s a big deal that a Google employee revealed that they are the two most important factors in search rankings.