Google places greater emphasis on factual data rather than links
According to recent reports, the SEO industry is on high alert after rumours began circulating that Google is considering what would be one of the biggest changes in search history. In an industry research paper dated in February, Google outlined the progress being made by experts in attributing greater emphasis on factual data as a ranking factor. Any such development would take prominence over the current major ranking factor – inbound links.
Unscrupulous SEO professionals have long manipulated the fallible nature of search rankings based on links. As such, the distortion of what is and isn’t relevant proves detrimental to user experience. What’s more, it is often the case that controversial (read, untrue – Ed.) web articles gain traction and links despite being factually inaccurate, thereby affording valuable rankings to spurious content.
Instead, the Google research team hopes to be able to create ‘web-source quality–knowledge-based trust’ through implementation of search algorithms that generate a Knowledge-Based Trust score for each individual page. Such a score would be determined through comparing content to that of Google’s Knowledge Vault – a large database of facts and data. In addition, the stories and articles of a questionable nature would have its source trustworthiness assessed, with reputable news outlets given greater weighting that independent, low-quality blogs.
While any such implementation of factual data as a ranking factor may be in its infancy, the potential for increased accuracy and relevancy of online content would be a welcome addition. In the meantime, SEO professionals should continue to optimise websites and generate content that attract links naturally… and which should, of course, be completely factual.