Online marketing is still a relatively young field, compared to other popular industries, and this means that it is still rapidly evolving. In the world of SEO we have seen numerous marketing techniques fall in and out of favour, with link exchanges giving way to link triangles, and then guest blogging and social media marketing.
Over the last couple of years we have seen some speculation that Google may simply give up on links for SEO altogether. Certainly, the idea of linkless SEO is an interesting one, but what would replace links as a ranking factor?
A team of research scientists working for Google published a paper on the idea of “Knowledge based trust”. This has led to speculation that Google could start placing more emphasis on “how accurate” a website is, rather than how popular it is. Of course, there are many challenges associated with this – not everything on the web is fact based. How will they handle matters of opinion? It’s likely that they will still pay some attention to links, but that they will be a much smaller ranking factor.
How Strong is Your Content?
The speculation of a move to facts instead of links as a primary ranking factor is something that brand owners cannot afford to ignore. If you have a blog or a knowledge base on your website, carefully vetting all of the content that will be published on there will become incredibly important. In theory, knowledge based trust could be incredibly beneficial in some niches – burying scam health care and diet products in the rankings, for example, because the “facts” they publish on their pages are questionable.
If your brand’s website is rather content-thin at this time, now might be a good time to invest in content creation and marketing. Hiring a local web designer, such as cavespider, to build up the database of content on your website will help you to prepare for the change.
Google usually gives webmasters ample warning before rolling out sweeping changes – such as the so-called “Mobilegeddon” update, but rather than waiting until the last minute to bring your website up to Google’s standards it makes sense to invest in it today. Find a company with local knowledge offering web design in Surrey, and work with them to create well cited, factually correct, entertaining and informative content.
Other Metrics Still Matter
Of course, even if Google does move towards a fact-based ranking system, there will still be other factors, such as location, mobile-friendliness, social reach and relevance, and even to an extent Page Rank, that will affect your rankings. SEO and online marketing are broad fields and you cannot afford to become so focused on one area that you neglect others. The more diverse your marketing strategy is and the more potential traffic sources you have, the more resilient your website will be when it comes to future algorithm updates or changes in online marketing trends.