If, like ourselves, you are actively involved with improving search engine rankings – you will probably be all to aware that for many years the inbound links to your website are a very important signal for Google to base your rankings on.
More specifically this was the basis of Google’s innovation that made the search engine the market leader through its speed and accuracy. Measuring the number and quality and relevance of links into your site was critical to its ranking success.
The problem with this though is that sites which contained un truths, mis information and downright lies could still get high rankings on Google just because other sites linked to them. A problem Google has been wrestling with for some time as it contravenes Google’s major objective which is to provide good useful information for searchers; clearly untrustworthy information should get demoted down the list.
Google is now addressing this – a research team is producing an new algorithm which will promote pages up the rankings for truthful information and demoting those with untruths. Instead of just counting the links it will be counting correct and incorrect facts and ranking accordingly. Theres more information on this here….
How will Google know whats true and what isn’t? Google has a vast ‘knowledge Vault’ it has compiled from the internet over years on facts (2.8 billion of them!) and other items considered accurate and it will use this to apply a ‘Knowledge Based Truth Score’ to webpages which will then determine the rankings.
This is not live yet but we expect a first release before the end of this year so maybe its time to revisit your content to eliminate anything which may be questionable or over hyped?
There will be other simple things it can measure like for example your reviews – if you promise next day delivery and lots of your reviews complain about late delivery, or if you boast exceptional service and your Twiter streams don’t support this – it could be a ranking problem going forwards. Conversely if your website content is in sync with your social media and other external references it will be beneficial.
Will this eliminate the need for links? We don’t think so but it will be a whole new category of ranking factors we need to pay attention to going forwards that over time, and depending on the type of site you have, may become more important than backlinks.