When it comes to ranking your website, the topic of Search Engine Optimization has always been somewhat vague. Though we've had a list of ranking factors to consider, Google has never been upfront about what the top considerations are. When the list tops 200 factors, things tend to get a little sticky.
For example, in 2015, Google announced that site speed accounted for 1% of it's ranking algorithm. Even though that's not a very significant number, it was something. To have Google attribute a definite number to a ranking factor was a huge leap for the tech giant, and it stirred up a frenzy in the automotive industry.
Vendors and Dealers went crazy over it. It became a game of 'who has a faster website'. It's funny to see how quickly the sky can start falling inside of this industry, especially over something that only accounts for 1% of the ranking of your website.
Last year, we learned about RankBrain, which Google announced then as the third most important ranking factor. At that time, they refused to say what the first two were.
Thanks to a recent Google Q&A session with Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, we know what the top three ranking factors are for Google.
"I can tell you what they are. It is Content. And it's links pointing to your site."
So now we know. The top three Google ranking factors are Content, Links, and RankBrain.
Though we don't know what comes first between content and links, my best guess is that the list looks like this:
The fact that you need content to link to suggests (in my opinion) that content is the number one ranking factor for Google.
At FlexDealer, we believe that content is one of the most valuable (and underutilized) methods of attracting high-quality vehicle shoppers.
Think about it. Every single day, thousands of automotive shoppers in your market are going online to search for information. Those that provide it win.
In closing, my question is this. Now that you know Google believes are the most important ranking factors, what are you going to do about it?