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Recently, I discussed the importance of understanding how Google uses links to rank a business in its search engine. It’s almost as if to say the old adage is true, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” With so many businesses, blogs, organizations, and social media sites online now, the Internet has become one of the most competitive places in the world. To survive there, you have to go beyond the obvious.

While today, Google puts a great deal of emphasis on the importance of using links in your site, there is evidence that this may be changing in the future. Consider the comments made in Search Engine Watch,

If Google researchers have their way, we may soon look back and laugh at the time when search engines ranked web pages based on link-driven popularity instead of factual content.

It seems that Google researchers are in the process of developing a new way to analyze and rank websites that will one day take them out of making the link connections.

Fact or Fiction

It’s no secret that there are millions of websites out there that are loaded with information that may be misapplied, misused, or just plain wrong. This fact is common knowledge and has been a growing concern for Google. If rumors of this new algorithm are true, there may come a time (possibly in our very near future) where the accuracy of our content will be just as or even more important than the number of backlinks we may have.

In essence, they will be looking much more closely at the actual value of the content rather than how a visitor feels about your site. The results of this kind of change could literally rearrange the entire face of search engine optimization. According to Slate.com,

The strategy isn’t being implemented yet, but the paper presented a method for adapting algorithms such that they would generalize a “Knowledge-Based Trust” score for every page. To do this, the algorithm would pick out statements and compare them with Google’s Knowledge Vault, a database of facts.

By doing this, Google will be able to determine how trustworthy a site is. Certain websites will automatically make it to the top of the list. An established newswire service would get a higher ranking than a personal blog, for example.

What That Means

If the new algorithm is released, it will entirely restructure what we see when we use the Google search engine. A small business with an accurate site could outrank larger corporations. Size and money won’t be an issue in this case as much as the quality and reliability of the information shared on a particular site.

Another point that Google would factor into this new algorithm is “topic relevance.” They would take a look at the About Us page of the site to determine the goals of the site and then compare each page content to look for compatibility. Those sites that are proven trustworthy will gain the highest recognition in the eyes of Google.

The question many are now asking is whether or not Google will actually go through with it. According to a report by NPR,

Google has been explicit that this is only research and there are no plans to implement the system anytime soon. Still, the reaction… makes it clear that, for some, even the ideas present significant problems.

Considering Google’s past record, they usually begin to suggest future actions in the media several years before they actually implement them. Those who pay attention to such announcements are often rewarded with being prepared before the transition takes place. If this is truly in the future for Google, it would be wise for all website owners to take a closer look at their content to make sure that everything is on point and accurate.

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