When Google originally announced RankBrain, they confirmed that it was now the third most important ranking signal. And while many speculated about what the top two ranking signals were, Google wouldn’t explicitly confirm what those two most important ranking factors were… until now. During yesterday’s WebPromo.Expert Google Q&A, Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, confirmed those two ranking signals, and they are content and links. “I can tell you what they are. It is content. And it’s links pointing to your site,” Lipattsev said. He was then asked which order those two ranking factors were in. “There is no order,” he replied. While this matches what about 99% of webmasters felt were the top two ranking factors, with these being the obvious two choices (and leading to some people pondering if it could be something else as the top two), it definitely raises the question about why Google did not confirm these two ranking factors in the first place. It could have been so the focus of the story at the time was RankBrain, rather than throwing two other ranking signals into the mix. This does make sense in some ways, since RankBrain is a pretty complicated factor
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