Mar12

Honesty Is The Best Policy: Google’s Knowledge-Based Trust

Posted by Kelly Kirkham

You’ve done it by the book. You’ve got the content and the backlinks, but how does your site compare when it comes to the truth? Google is working on a new search algorithm that will soon consider factual content as a ranking quality…

Search engine optimization and the changing science behind reaching the top of a search page can be frustrating. We think of it as a popularity contest for websites, except your business can depend on how people find you in search results. Because SEO is constantly changing, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest announcements and systems used.

Google recently released a research paper (PDF) entitled Knowledge-Based Trust: Estimating the Trustworthiness of Web Sources, which outlines a metric that may be able to estimate how trustworthy a specific website is for SEO. Previously Google relied on popularity and links to determine ranking, but this will be a whole new ball game. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing and huge page numbers. Welcome to the future where honest, useful and factual information is rewarded!

In a nutshell…

The 12-page research paper details the implementation of a Knowledge-Based Trust (KBT) algorithm using ‘endogenous’ signals. This means that by using factors from within the site rather than what are called ‘exogenous’ signals, ie click-rates or links coming from outside the site. Google’s current ideal is for individuals to be able to easily search – and instantly receive – relevant information by creating metrics to understand exactly what a user is searching for, providing them with the answer and giving additional information covering the topic with depth and accuracy. Google’s “Knowledge Graph” is the first baby step in this quest. You may have seen boxes in the left hand side of your screen when looking up basic searches.

The “Knowledge Graph” was created to provide instant information for what Google calls “the basic human need to learn and broaden [your] horizons”, but in order to do this efficiently Google has to have a way of deciding what information is relevant and reliable. This is where KBT comes in. The system will compute accuracy based on information stored in Google’s Knowledge Vault, a database of 2.8 billion facts that have been carefully extracted from the web. Google will then create a score based on its findings that will be represented in your page rank.

How to take advantage of these changes…

This is the easy part: pages with more facts will score better, and sites with unreliable information and assumptions will not score as well. This means that sites that focus on providing relevant and honest content will get the credit they deserve and others will fade into the background. In the war of misinformation this is a major battle won and Google is leading the troops to victory!

This recent development has left many with more questions than answers but we are sure that as Google continues to test the metric, those answers will be revealed.

 

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