I am going to do it, I am going to read between the lines here on a John Mueller tweet. In short, he said that you really cannot say that one specific ranking factor is the reason why a site might be doing well or poorly in search, even if that site focused on that exclusively over the last time period.
Here is John’s tweet, but you can learn more by clicking through and reading the whole Twitter thread:
I think the main thing we’re trying to get at is you can’t really isolate any “if X then use Y” elements – everything is kinda related, and it can have cross-“factor” effects, but it doesn’t have to, and all of this can change by the minute, intent, query, location, website, etc.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) April 24, 2019
He said “I think the main thing we’re trying to get at is you can’t really isolate any “if X then use Y” elements.” This clearly means that just because you think X is influencing Y, it probably isn’t the only thing influencing Y, plus it might not be influencing Y at all.
“Everything is kinda related,” John said. This means that even if you are doing well with links, maybe it is also your great content that is also shinning. Great content helps attract links and Google also likes to rank great content. John added, “and it can have cross-“factor” effects” where sometimes doing well with one factor will drive success in another factor. “But it doesn’t have to” be cross related. Plus “all of this can change by the minute, intent, query, location, website, etc” so good luck trying to isolate it.
So yea, rankings are complex. It isn’t just about how high your PageRank is and waiting for the Google Dance anymore…
Forum discussion at Twitter.