Lauren Kaye

Hi, Lauren Kaye here some potentially important SEO news. I say potentially because it sounds like it’s still in the early stages, but some Google researchers published a report about an entirely new ranking system that’s based on the factual accuracy  of web content – not the number of links pointing to it.

The premise is that everything up until now has been based on popularity. A big part of SEO was getting as many links as you could pointing to your site and your content. Because links meant SEO value. The researchers who wrote the report call these exogenous signals.

Links were a popularity contest

But, they say, there’s an alternative. You could build a ranking system around the factual accuracy of content – not the popularity. They argue these endogenous signals would actually be a better measure of quality than the old way. If your information is correct, you rank better. If your information is bad, you fall off the radar.

The way I see it, this would impact the web in three ways:

1. It would get rid of a lot of spamSpam goes away

A change like this could squash a lot of the sites that use black hat practices to game the system, but don’t offer any real value.

2. It would force businesses to clean up their information

This could be the final straw a lot of companies need to make sure address information is up to date, phone numbers and product info is correct.

3. It puts a lot of weight on editorial standards

You might think twice about publishing content if you know you’re being judged on factual accuracy, and you’d probably want someone on your team who can research everything you publish to make sure it’s correct.

Elements_LtBlue_Arrow7Want to learn more about our content writers’ editorial process? Check out these related resources:


SEO is about quality content, not links. Stop obsessing.

More than anything, though, it would finally force SEOs to stop thinking about links so much. If sites are ranked by information quality rather than popularity, everyone would start focusing on making their content top notch. Which, at the end of the day, is better for your customers anyway.

What do you think about this potential change? Let us know in the comments section below or by Tweeting @Brafton. Thanks for checking out this week’s Content and Coffee!