Google Search's 3 Pillars of Ranking Via DOJ Documents - Search Engine Roundtable

The SEO community is buzzing about some recent U.S. Department of Justice documents released that hint at some ranking concepts at Google. One slide is named "The 3 Pillars of Ranking" and discuss body, anchors and user interactions.

The slide says The 3 Pillars of Ranking:

  • Body: What the document says about itself
  • Anchors: What the Web says about the document
  • User-interactions: What users say about the document

Then there is this footnote that says "we may use "clicks" as a stand-in for "user-interactions" in some places. User-interactions include clicks, attention on a result, swipes on carousels and entering a new query."

What user interactions does Google measure?

• Attention (hover/mouse movement)
• Clicks
• Scrolls
• Enters new query


— Cyrus SEO (@CyrusShepard) November 2, 2023

This isn't "personalization" - as public Google comments seem to want us to believe

"If you search right now, you'll benefit from the billions of past user reactions we've recorded"


— Cyrus SEO (@CyrusShepard) November 2, 2023


1) These documents are from 2016. Advancements have undoubtedly made Google less reliant on user data. But no doubt they still use it

2) Google successfully redacted much of the documents. Lots they don't want us to see


— Cyrus SEO (@CyrusShepard) November 2, 2023

Danny Goodwin dove in a bit more and published a story named 7 must-see Google Search ranking documents in...

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