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What it takes to get a top position in Google: Three top ranking signals

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The Google ranking algorithm has around 200 individual signals with different weights for each. Fortunately, most of those signals affect the ranking of pages in very subtle ways. SEO is not about getting everything right; it is about producing the content and promotion that tells Google that your content is useful to the searcher. Several industry studies show that significant changes to rankings are possible with just a few signals.


It should not come as a surprise that links are still the top indicator of a page’s popularity and relevance. Patents show that Google calculates a link score which is a combination of the quality score of every incoming link and the number of links. From what we can see, only one unique link from a domain goes towards the score.


Google is better at judging the quality and relevance of content than it was before. We could even argue that if you compare all the signals, content is the one that has seen the most significant improvements. Google uses machine learning to separate good content from the bad. There was a time when on-page factors lost relevance, not so anymore.


The technical side of SEO is more than just a single factor. SSL, page speed, Mobile-friendliness all contribute to the score. However, out of the three, this is the easiest to implement in the short term. Given the time it takes for an effective content and link building campaign, technical SEO should be at the top of the list.

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