How many times have we heard content is king? Quality content, or longer, rather than shorter articles, are what will produce higher Google rankings. It appears Google are considering adding to their existing algorithm yet again. This time, the quality of the ‘facts’ contained in an article, will contribute to its search page ranking.
The internet is chock-full of ‘factual’ articles, which contain none, or worse, wrong ‘facts’. One person publishes an uncorroborated article; someone else takes it up, and so on and so forth. Academic, news, medical, and scientific articles, are among those one would consider to be targeted by this new Google ‘fact’ addition to their search engine. While the big players; New Scientist, National Geographic, BBC, Huffington Post, History Channel, and others, can be expected to get their facts right, what about when a particular article has been regurgitated a few dozen times? Eventually ending up on a revenue share site like Writedge.
The current ranking method relies heavily on back-links, views to the website’s articles from other websites with little account of the linking site’s quality, or factual content. The more back-links from different sites, the higher the ranking. With Google’s new algorithm, the trustfulness of the source will play a big part in ranking procedure.
The ‘source’ in this case, defining whether the Writedge website makes it to the top of page one, is us; our articles.
However, look a bit deeper, and other articles may well find themselves affecting how the website ranks using this new method. Articles which, at first glance, one wouldn’t think would be affected by a fact ranking.
A few that spring to mind, are herbal or natural remedies, alternative medicines, and healthy eating, cure all, food stuffs. All these subjects are highly popular on the internet, and heavily subscribed by those looking for alternative treatments – or where conventional medicine has made no difference to their condition.
There are many herbal remedies, alternative treatments, and foodstuffs, which have been proven over time to work, or have a beneficial effect, on those who use them. Unfortunately there are as many, where various claims have no bearing in fact. How will Google’s additional ranking method work on these. Would it be all in the wording?
Instead of saying, ‘the anti-bodies in foodstuff X are effective in the fight against cancer.’ Maybe, ‘it is thought further research into foodstuff X may well prove it to be beneficial in the fight against cancer.’ That way, no-one is claiming unproven facts, it doesn’t give people false hope, while at the same time saying; keep your eye on this. Would something similar pass Google’s new ‘fact’ analysis?
The new system is set to count the number of facts on a page. While the odd none-fact, may still allow decent page ranking, an article full of them, no matter how many back-links or views, will receive a poor ranking.
This new system is called a Knowledge-Based Trust score; the software operates using Google’s vast Knowledge Vault. Nearly three billion facts Google has trawled from the web over the years; will be used to confirm whether or not the facts in any given article are correct.
There are already a number of apps available to internet writers to help them determine whether the facts they have researched are correct or not. Apps such as Lazy Truth, Emergent, PolitiFact and FactCheck all work by skimming the web to confirm factual information.
However, that still leaves billions of non-factual articles, how will they fare? The new Google system is not an instead of, but an addition to, the current algorithm. One can only assume that all those pages will continue to be ranked as they are now – using views and back-links to determine their page, and the websites, ranking.
Images care of: By Bathularavindra (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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By Gopakumar. R (http://www.gopakumarartgallery.com) (I am Gopakunmar R, I created my self) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
A British expat who has lived on this Island of Tenerife for over twelve years.A full time freelance writer, most of my time is spent article writing. I also write on D2C, Writedge, and wherever takes my fancy. For fun I try to increase my portfolio of short stories, with a view to eventually getting them published.