In a rare admission, just last week, Google has confirmed the top three ranking signals in Google’s search ranking algorithm, for which it ranks websites.

In a question and answer session on YouTube, Google’s Andrey Lipattsev, the Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google revealed Google’s most important website ranking factors:

1 & 2. Links that point to your website and the website content (are equally important)

3. RankBrain (Google’s new machine learning technology)

Now whilst this may come as no surprise to many in SEO circles, what was surprising was the fact that Google’s Andrey Lipattsev straight out answer with little hesitation. Generally Google, most often when asked about their ranking Algorithms will answer in a very round about, non-specific way! It’s nice to have a straight answer and confirmation!

RankBrain was disclosed as the third most important ranking signals which is a new method Google uses to interpret a “very large fraction” of the search queries they see every day, using artificial intelligence to try to guess what a searcher’s query is referring to.

And whilst there are hundreds of signals Google uses in its search ranking algorithm, the equal top two; links and content are keys that anyone who wants their website to rank for should initially focus on.

Here’s the full YouTube video, what was said re above can be found at the 30 minute mark. (Just fast-forward if you want!)