Entirely uncharacteristic for a Google employee, Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland, has revealed the top three factors that the company uses to rank search results on its main website.
Answering questions about working at Google and SEO in general, Lipattsev has revealed in a Q&A session for WebPromo that links, content, and the new RankBrain algorithm are the three most important inputs for classifying search results.
Lipattsev has not said which is the most important but confirmed that RankBrain is third on this importance ladder, something that has been rumored since last year, when more power was given to this AI-powered ranking system.
When he said “links,” Lipattsev was referring to the number of external websites pointing back at your page. When he said “content,” the engineer was referring to the page’s actual content, the text in which Google finds matches for search results, and its overall quality.
As Bill Gates once said, content is king
Taking into account how many times we’ve heard Google engineers say that content is important, and the more high-quality and original the content, the better it will rank, we believe that content is actually Google’s first search engine ranking factor.
It might sound trivial, but in the past years, Google has managed to find a way to edge out low-quality results and unearth meaningful search results that actually provide high-quality material.
The first steps were taken when the company started cutting down the importance of keywords and other meta tags a few years back, and when honest content creators started having a chance against all those keyword spammers.
Of course, things are never that easy with Google, and tens of other factors are also taken into account, some of which may sometimes work against you, despite having many links pointing at you and high-quality content. You can watch the entire Q&A session below. The entire video is quite interesting, but if you want to listen to the juicy stuff, it’s at minute 30.