How Effective is Linking for Google, and What are the Other Top Ranking Factors


At the State of Search Conference this week, Jen Slegg was interviewing Google's Gary Illyes, and one of the main topics was about the top ranking factors and the effectiveness of linking.

I'm sure you all use some kind of backlink tool, such as Majestic, but it was clear that some sites that Gary highlighted didn't appear to have any links at all, yet was ranking at #2 for the example search term.

Gary said, "For me, that shows me that for that particular query, anchors the links were not that important, at least not for the second result.  And we have tons and tons of ranking factors trying to figure out which will be the right result and boosting that result."

Another factor is RankBrain, which affects long tail queries.

Gary also went on to say that the top three ranking factors is dynamic, and indicated that it fluctuates on a per query basis. Don't think that's the end of it as these top ranking factors may not apply to some search queries. There you have it, it's clear, eh, anything goes.