In John Mueller’s hangout on 09/24/2021, he explained that Google is moving away from talking about using 200 ranking signals.
It’s been a long-time myth in the SEO industry that Google uses 200 ranking signals. Some SEO professionals believe it and flaunt it, and others do not.
There are also those who believe that the 200 ranking signals began breaking down around 2005.
What, Exactly, Are the Top Google Ranking Signals?
Most SEO professionals will agree that top Google ranking signals include content, links, and technical SEO as the top three ranking factors that will influence where your site appears in the Google SERPs (search engine results pages).
As a general rule, you have content, links, and technical SEO, of which there are hundreds of different permutations and implementations depending on your competition and what it will take to rank that site.
If you focus on content—providing content that matches the user intent of the query people are searching for, links—earning the right links to your site so you can work on increasing your website’s authority in your niche, and technical SEO—increasing the quality of your website, then you are certain to increase your rankings over time.
What Do Others Claim?
There are a number of claims about 200 ranking factors throughout the SEO industry. Some are based on well-thought-out paradigms:
While others are based on pure fallacy and are just concepts:
The problem with the above is that Google does not use E-A-T in their ranking algorithms. It’s purely a concept for Google Quality Raters—laypersons who don’t understand algorithms and evaluate websites.
But some in the industry have taken it to mean that it’s a viable part of Google’s algorithms. Sure, maybe if you take the kitchen sink approach. Eventually, you’re going to get a hit. But this is not real SEO.
Danny Sullivan even states this, and Google states this every time there is a discussion around E-A-T:
The Last Word on Ranking Factors
Ranking factors include things like content, links, and technical SEO.
E-A-T is in no way a ranking factor, and known ranking factors have hundreds of different permutations depending on what your competition is doing.
Prioritizing things like content, links, and technical SEO is your best bet to achieving higher rankings.
How you pursue content, links, and technical SEO will be dictated by the things your competitors are doing.
John Mueller 09/24/2021 Hangout Transcript
This occurs at approximately 49:47 in the video below: