Google's Top 3 Ranking Factors: Content, Links & RankBrain


NEW FOR AUGUST - Starting this month, we will be hosting a raffle. Check out what you can win, and enter the drawing (

For several years now, Google has said that it uses more than 200 signals to rank pages. Many of them have more than 50 variations within a single factor. It's rare that any of the factors are confirmed by Google, but in the past year they have confirmed the top 3 ranking factors. Last year Google confirmed RankBrain was the third most important ranking factor, but Google refused to say what the first two were. That is until earlier this year when Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, said the other two factors were links and content ( JR Oakes and Patrick Stox will break down some of the things that Google may be looking for with regards to content, links, and RankBrain and tell you what you really need to know about each.

JR Oakes is the Director of Strategy for Consultwebs (, an agency that specializes in online marketing for law firms throughout the United States and internationally. He is in charge of developing and managing the company’s comprehensive approach to search marketing strategy for their clients. In this role, JR analyzes and adapts strategy to address the constantly changing factors that affect online visibility. He leverages data analysis, testing, and SEO / development best practices to help the team provide more value to their clients. He is also one of the co-organizers of the Raleigh SEO Meetup, a Search Engine Land author, and is a member of several SEO groups around the country.

Patrick Stox is a Technical SEO Specialist for IBM ( and one of your organizers for the Raleigh SEO Meetup ( He’s also an author for industry blogs such as Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, and Search Engine Journal. Patrick speaks at major search conferences and has spoken at both SMX Advanced and SMX West this year.

Goo Goo Dolls & Collective Soul Tickets

The Raleigh SEO Meetup is now offering up for raffle one pair of tickets to the Goo Goo Dolls concert, with special guest Collective Soul. The concert will be on Satuday Aug 27, 2016 at 7:00 PM at Red Hat Amphitheater. Enter now and join us Tuesday to see if you're the winner.


This month, parking will be at a premium. There are a few spots available behind The Knowledge Tree and more street parking on the roads behind the venue. Additionally, there is a parking deck nearby (Sullivan Parking Lot). Arrive early to make the 10 minute walk from the parking deck to the venue, or arrive earlier to get a closer spot.

The RSVP system on Meetup is only for people that will be at the venue in person.

Unlimited numbers can watch the live stream at (