describe the positions of a website’s content for different keyword phrases.
Google Ranking Factor
A ranking factor is considered a signal or metric that influences organic rankings in search engines like Google, Bing or Yandex.
Google Ranking Factor Study
Various flawed “Ranking Factor Studies” were published by companies like MOZ, Search Metrics, Semrush and others.
The flaw in those studies were often of similar nature, like
- The methodical flaw to expect that correlation of data means causation.
- Measurement of e.g. links in raw numbers, without qualifying them by quality metrics like Trust or Power.
- Assuming that all factors would be weighted evenly for all countries, languages, keywords.
While the first two might be obvious methodical flaws, the third may not.
The rules in organic rankings in search engines like Google are different for every country, every language, every niche, every keyword.
This could be observed since the early days when the Competitive Landscape Analyzer (CLA) was launched.
The general conclusions and recommendations from those over-simplified “studies”, amplified by large marketing budgets, have confused SEOs for years.
Ranking Factor Links
Google confirmed that there are only two ranking factor to consider important - Links and Content.
Links are ranking factor #1 says Google.
In March 2016, in an interview with smart SEOs, Googler Andrey Lipattsev, a “Search Quality Senior Strategist”, confirms that Google has only two essential ranking factors. Links and content.
I can tell you what they are It is content. And it’s links pointing to your site.” (Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google)
We’re repeatedly told by Google that links are a very important, if not THE, most important ranking factor, and that ranking without links is almost impossible.
Ranking without links is really difficult
Ranking without links is really, really hard. Yes, the external links.
Gary Illyes, Chief of Sunshine and Happiness at Google, October - November 2016.
Links are especially important to Google
Links in particular are really important to Google because that’s how we discover the rest of your website.
John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, September 2016.