What are the Top 3 Google Search Ranking Factors in 2016?

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What are the Top 3 Google Search Ranking Factors in 2016?

What are the Top 3 Google Search Ranking Factors in 2016?

Currently the Top 3 Google Search Ranking Factors are:
  • Links
  • Content
  • RankBrain

How do we know this? Well recently in a Google Q&A Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google confirmed it:

These are just the Top 3 Ranking factors, there are many more that are taken into consideration by the Search Algorithm and we will discuss the others in another FAQ. From what has been said, we now know that Links and Content hold joint First and Second Place carrying a similar value, with RankBrain in third place.

Let's look at each Search Ranking Factor individually:


Links otherwise known as Backlinks are the external links that lead to your site from other websites. Links to your site should be top quality and ideally coming from Authority Sites with a reputable reputation. Mass spamming of low value links will only damage your site.


Well, we have all heard the old saying "Content is King!" and it is still very much the case. You need to be producing or paying for the highest quality content that you can afford. Content is the lifeblood of your site, top quality content will lead to more Visitors and Higher Rankings. It can be comprised of text, pictures and video and should be produced with the end user/visitor in mind.


What is RankBrain? RankBrain is the artificial intelligence system / machine-learning algorithm developed by Google. This system is destined to become more important as time goes by as it is designed to learn and teach itself how to interact with links and content.

So how can we use this knowledge to help get our site ranked higher in the SERP's?
Well as we have no direct control over RankBrain, we need to seek out the highest quality links and produce the best content that we can.

Hope this helps and you get higher rankings in 2016.


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Links and content will always be a factor, unless Google wants to ruin their years of programming and coding What are the Top 3 Google Search Ranking Factors in 2016?

Also, links and content are the easiest way to determine what a website is about and who is talking about it. If a website has no links it's generally seen as a newer website or one that isn't very popular. A website that is seen as not very popular will never (usually) rank in Google because they only want to show the best of the best in their search results. As for the content, if you have great content you generally have a leg up on the lower quality competition. Against your tough competition you'll be on an even playing field and have to figure out exactly what they are doing in order to surpass them. Reverse engineer their backlink campaign is a good way to start this ;)

Now RankBrain. I need to understand this a little better before commenting on it. If it's an algorithm that will eventually teach itself how links and content work, is there a way to alter it's thinking for our benefit? I need to research this a bit more What are the Top 3 Google Search Ranking Factors in 2016?



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I agree with the links and maybe that list is one reason why building backlinks is the most popular SEO method being done by website owners. The main reason for the popularity of backlinks is that it gets traffic in 2 says. First way is the probability that the backlink will be clicked by the reader of the web page. Second way of getting traffic is the value of the backlink as assessed by search engines so that the site’s link will be included in the search list.

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