Sunday, March 22, 2015

Google – Content based Search?

Google is undoubtedly the dominant player in the search engine industry. In fact most of the companies that have adopted digital marketing have ensured to adapt to the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. Recently, Google released a white paper that indicated changing the criteria it uses to rank websites to include Google’s assessment of the accuracy of the content. This has shaken few search-engine-optimization experts speculating the changes for future.

Google's paper titled “Knowledge-Based Trust: Estimating the Trustworthiness of Web Sources,” discusses ranking websites based on the trustworthiness and factual accuracy of web sources. This new system would rely on Google’s own Knowledge Vault and a number of other metrics to gauge the accuracy of the information on a page. This would mean that if one's website contains known inaccuracies, or if it simply doesn’t contain much of the relevant content, the ranking on Google would be adversely affected for that website.
I think this in accordance with the focus on content based digital marketing. In the last two years, content marketing has gained tremendous focus and it is one of the most important areas in the digital marketing this year. Some of the following stats corroborate this finding:
- 57% of marketers report content marketing is their top marketing priority for 2013.

- 60% of marketers use content marketing on a weekly basis.

- 82% of prospects say content targeted to their industry is more valuable.

- 9 in 10 organizations market with content.

As a company owner involved in digital marketing, the better the company's website ranks, the more traffic it is likely to get and the greater is the lead generation and conversions.
A Knowledge-Based Trust (KBT) signal would be a significant departure from current practice, which uses traditional linking strategies to boost a website’s “authority.” Instead of rewarding or punishing a website based on the number and quality of links it has to other websites and portals, the search engine actually would assess the content of each Web page using the complex methodology discussed in the paper. This methodology is quite complex and Google has commented that these theories are still in research and development stage and not expected to roll out any time soon. Thus, I would strongly suggest companies to not stop any of the current SEO strategies.

Google is well known for aggregating all the content published on the Internet and respond with an output on demand. The fresher the content, the more helpful it is for Google likes it as websites, blogs, and paid media strategies all require fresh content to be effective. Even social media citations are starting to populate the search results- the most recent example being Twitter releasing its API allowing its tweets to be easily displayed through Google search.
The key to a successful content marketing strategy is to provide free, no-obligation information or advice that accurately answers questions and solves problems. It is also important that the content is aggregated from all sources and is also promoted on as many platforms as possible. To summarize, even if Google is yet to release its content based search model, marketers are already spending significant resources on content based digital marketing. In essence, content based marketing is a necessity today.

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