There are a lot of things I like about Google. And the way they trickle their news is one of them. You may or may not live on the edge of your seat for any morsel coming out of Mountain View, CA, but let’s face it; A lot of us do!
Recently, I put together a post about AuthorRank from breadcrumbs left by the Google squad. And here’s another one for you. Except it’s not really about strategy and it isn’t really about the backend of Google. It’s about the new search.
Of course, I have some tips at the bottom of this post about how I suggest this *does* impact your content strategy down the road. But first, let’s connect the dots.
#1 To Google, “Relevancy is King”
These three powerful words were spoken by Amit Singhal, VP and Google Fellow during his opening keynote at SMX London. He reminded the crowd that above all else, Google wants to provide relevant search results. And they are constantly working to increase the data for that purpose.
#1a AuthorRank is Confirmed (only slightly-related but very cool)
We’ve been talking about AuthorRank for a while…but this seemed to be the first official Google confirmation. Check out my AuthorRank post for more info about what’s going on there. By moving in this direction, Google acknowledges that people–rather than domains–should carry their own individual trust factors.
#2 Google Introduces Direct Answers
The other big announcement at SMX London was Direct Answers. Essentially, this is Google finding the meat of your query and providing the answer when they can. For example, let’s say you are looking up the capital of Kentucky. Instead of just sending you all the typical results, the new search will also tell you the answer.
Obviously this sparked some mumblings in the SMX London crowd. And according to this SEJournal post, one webmaster even asked, “Why even give Google our content if you’re just going to provide answers to users without sending them to our websites?” The response from Amit was that they had extensive testing to prove that when people were provided direct answers, they often looked for more advanced questions.
#3 In 2010 Google Acquired Start-Up Metaweb Technologies
According to this WSJ article, Metaweb Technologies “had an index of 12 million entities, such as movies, books, companies and celebrities. By comparison, online encyclopedia Wikipedia has 3.5 million English entries”.
The WSJ article also pointed out that Amit and the Metaweb team has been approaching government organizations for access to databases like the CIA Factbook.
#4 This Month, Google Introduces the “Knowledge Graph”
Check out this video that was published last week on May 16th:
So as you can see, Google is working incredibly hard to stay ahead of the search game. With Facebook’s recent IPO, Google had some things to worry about. Do you even think about everything that Facebook knows about you and all your so-called “friends”? Now that Zuckerberg has stockholders to worry about, his advertisers are clamoring for more of that precious info.
BUT, it looks like Google is going to do just fine. By expanding their search from “tab a, slot b” and looking at things from a more semantic perspective, the Google search engine will start looking a lot more like artificial intelligence rather than just a huge library catalog.
So what does this mean for content generation?
#1 It means that if all your content is “slot b” material, you are going to have a rough road to hoe. Answering long-tail questions that bring people into your ad-saturated landing page will no longer fly.
#2 Consistency is key. The sporadic blog post or huge influx of social media interaction will harm more than it will help. “So buying that 1000 tweet package for $10 probably isn’t the best bet”, says SERPS.com founder Scott Krager. You have to make a plan and stick to it across the board.
#3 User experience trumps all. The battle of white hat and black hat is epic. I wish somebody would come up with a cool redvsblue-type comic for the whole white vs. black thing. And this news from Google just confirms that the white hat is the side of the fence you want to be on.
So whenever a decision has to be made and the deciding factors are user experience and anything else (cost, efficiency, brand exposure, etc), you will never lose with choosing user experience.
Think about the “experience” of your site, your brand, your social interactions, etc. That’s what is going to make you look good to Google. AND that’s what will convert visitors once they get to your site anyway. It’s a win-win.
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