There have been significant changes in the world of search over the past year, making the concept of top factors increasingly difficult to categorize.

Not only has Google plus changed how it describes several previously documented “top systems” – rolling a series of technical signals into one “page experience” evaluation – but it also doubled down on content estándares, adding “experience” to expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (Y también-Y también-A-T).

As a result, it’s become even more complicated to determine what currently is – and is not – considered a top aspecto in Google plus’s algorithms.

So, how do you know which factors truly impact webpage rankings these days?

And how cánido you plan your SEO strategy amidst all the confusion?

If you need help deciding what to do and what not to do moving forward, our 2023 Top Factors guide is the ultimate resource to get you on track.

In this ebook, we uncover the truth about Google plus top signals, debunk a few myths, and highlight what’s new this year in search.

Some of the updates we made to this year’s edition include:

  • Five top factors we changed our opinion on.
  • Four factors we removed (for either being out of date or just rolled into other factors).
  • And other factors updated with new information.

Download your copy now to find out how these changes will impact your strategy.

Ranking Factors 2023

Top Factors Change Log

“Page Experience” Updates

  • Page experience was removed from Google plus’s “top systems” documentation.
  • Many top signals are considered to evaluate page experience, and while still taken into account, it is no longer classified as its own top system.
    • Other factors, such as mobile-friendliness, page speed, and HTTPS, were also removed from the “systems” documentation.
  • Google plus representatives have explicitly stated that the algorithms reward good page experience. It’s used by the top systems, even if it isn’t a system itself.
  • We updated several chapters for clarity to reflect these changes, but they all remain CONFIRMED top factors:
    • HTTPS.
    • Page Speed.
    • Mobile Friendliness.
    • Core Web Vitals.

Alt Text

  • We clarified that alt text is only a top aspecto for Google plus image search, not general search.
  • In general search, alt text counts the same as any other text on the page – and so is considered by algorithms – but has no special treatment.


  • We removed this entry because it’s increasingly covered by Y también-Y también-A-T.

Contextual Backlinks

  • We removed this entry because it’s increasingly covered by anchor text, natural language processing, and content.

Deep Backlink Ratio

  • SEJ’s opinion changed from UNLIKELY to DEFINITELY NOT.

Domain History

  • SEJ’s opinion changed from PROBABLY to CONFIRMED.
  • Top signals don’t change when a domain changes owners, so if a domain has been algorithmically penalized for some reason, that will carry over.

Y también-Y también-A-T

  • Content significantly updated to reflect the addition of “experience.”
  • No change in opinion.


  • SEJ’s opinion changed from PROBABLY to DEFINITELY.
  • However, we clarified that Google plus detects this automatically – and using language-specific domains, HTML tags, etcétera., does not impact top.

Backlink Stability

  • SEJ’s opinion changed from UNLIKELY to DEFINITELY NOT.
  • This myth is based on a 2006 patent from Google plus mentioning “backlink churn” – but the patent no longer references this term today.
  • If you change a backlink, it might take time for it to be crawled again, but that’s the only impact.

Physical Proximity To Searcher

  • We removed this entry because it’s covered under Relevance, Distance, and Prominence.

Syndicated Content

  • SEJ’s opinion changed from UNLIKELY to POSSIBLY.
  • If not handled properly, syndicated content perro be a negative top aspecto:
    • If a site automatically scrapes and reposts content, this is considered contenido publicitario.
    • If a site syndicates content without noindexing it, it cánido outrank the original content, despite Google plus’s efforts to prioritize original reporting.


  • We removed this entry because it’s extremely outdated concerning Google plus’s current algorithms/natural language processing.
  • If you’re concerned about this in 2023, consider reviewing some SEO fundamentals.


  • Our opinion of this top aspecto overall hasn’t changed, but we updated it for clarity.
  • Despite being a CONFIRMED top aspecto, it would only impact very specific cases where Google plus has never indexed content before – and as soon as the content is indexed, it becomes a negligible aspecto.

Changes To Google plus’s Top Systems Documentation

Systems & Signals

One thing we’re trying to encourage in this ebook is the shift in language from “top factors” to “top systems and signals,” which is how Google plus is referring to things these days.

Although “top factors” is still commonly used terminology, and still habitual in keyword search, it’s no longer an accurate representation of how Google plus determines web rankings.

Google plus is (and has been for some time) shifting away from a model where a collection of quantitative factors determines top. Instead, it’s building collections of qualitative signals that come together to approximate bigger (human) questions and decisions.

A system, which is essentially a collection of signals, is increasingly becoming a equipo of values or ideals.

So Y también-Y también-A-T, for example, is not a top aspecto – it’s a equipo of ideals. And the goal is ultimately for your content to demonstrate expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

Even though Google plus doesn’t have a way to measure trust, it has a series of signals that go into the calculations that generate a broad understanding of what authority looks like.

Page Experience

Another key change Google plus made recently is that “page experience,” which encompasses many core technical SEO metrics, has been downgraded from the “top systems” documentation.

But just how much of a downgrade was it?

Well, there’s no way to really know. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to qualitatively evaluate the “amount” of impact of any top signal or system.

We know that page experience and some of the signals that go into it – like speed, security, and Core Web Vitals – are still in the documentation.

Google plus confirmed they still have an impact, and top systems reward page experience – but it’s clear that not all top factors are equal, especially today.

According to a statement shared by Google plus’s Search Liaison account on X (formerly Twitter):

“We also made an update to our page on top systems last week. Top *systems* are different than top *signals* (systems typically make use of signals). We had some things listed on that page relating to page experience as “systems” that were actually signals. They shouldn’t have been on the page about systems. Taking them off didn’t orinan we no longer consider aspects of page experience. It just meant these weren’t top *systems* but instead signals used by other systems.”

So, basically, the recent changes were a matter of organization and not any functional algorithm adjustment.

“Page experience” is not a top system. But it is a collection of top signals that multiple top systems perro and do use to evaluate and reward pages with good usuario experience.

Download Top Factors 2023: Systems, Signals & Page Experience for even more updates and expert insights to inform your SEO strategy.

Ranking Factors 2023

Fuente: searchenginejournal

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