New Google Ranking Factors Study Reveals Content Gaining, Links Losing

A Searchmetrics Google ranking factors study shows content importance is on the rise while links are decreasing as a priority in search engine optimization…

The latest Searchmetrics study of Google ranking factors reveals content relevance is on the rise while backlinks continue to decline as an important signal. This follows a steady decline of link juice while content simultaneously increases as a top signal.

New Searchmetrics Google Ranking Factors Study Finds Content is Increasing, while Links are Decreasing

In a question and answer session held in April, Andrey Lipattsev, a Google Search Quality Senior Strategist, disclosed the top three Google ranking factors: content, links, and RankBrain.  

Some of the key takeaways from the study are websites with the highest content relevance rank in positions third to sixth on the search engine results page or SERP. During this year, 53 percent of the top 20 sites included title keywords. 

“Google revealed last year that it is turning to sophisticated AI and machine-learning techniques such as RankBrain to help it better understand intent behind the words searchers enter, and to make its results more relevant,” explains Marcus Tober Searchmetrics founder and CTO. 

The search engine itself advises, “The key to creating a great website is to create the best possible experience for your audience with original and high quality content. If people find your site useful and unique, they may come back again or link to your content on their own websites. This can help attract more people to your site over time.”

On January 10th, 2017, Google will begin penalizing websites using intrusive interstitials and pop-ups. The company explains these create a bad user experience, which violates the search engine’s webmaster guidelines.

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Owen E. Richason IV

Owen is blog content writer, SEO consultant, social media marketer, and website guy. His work has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, on Business.com, Tampa Bay Business and Financier, AOL and numerous other blogs and websites. is also a musician and is the founder of Groove Modes.