Top Ranking Factors Can Change Depending On The Search, Says Google

Gary Illyes of Google tweeted new information this week which helped to clear up a misunderstanding regarding ranking factors.

While many marketers thought that there were 3 top ranking factors that applied to all content, Illyes clarified that was in fact not the case, as first reported by Search Engine Journal.

Illyes went onto explain that the top ranking web page factors will change depending on the type of search that was used.

John Mueller, also from Google, got involved in the conversation regarding top ranking factors by explaining that the main purpose of Google’s algorithms was to show relevant content. According to Mueller, everything else was subject to variation.

He even went as far as to say that optimizing for ranking factors was evident of short term thinking.

Following Mueller’s input, Illyes shared even more information by stating that many top-ranking sites don’t have backlinks, further illustrating that links are often not a ranking factor.

Through this comment, Illyes is referencing search results pertaining to daily long-tailed queries. This goes to show that certain results can be so new or niche that no one has linked to them yet. However, the absence of these links doesn’t mean the result is irrelevant to many queries.

The aforementioned example shows how important it is that Google’s algorithms are able to adapt to various ranking signals, as this helps to ensure the best possible experience for the user.

Should Google change their system to always relying on the top 3 ranking signals, users would likely not receive the most relevant content, which according to Google is their number one goal.

Confused as to how ranking factors impact your business? Feel that your company is producing quality content but not seeing much in terms of results? Reach out to Hall Analysis who can help determine potential areas of improvement.


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