Internet Marketing: Google’s Ranking Algorithm Goes Social
The algorithm that Google uses to determine search engine rankings is believed to use more than 200 signals to designate page ranks for a particular query and the number of signals used seem to be growing drastically. Google hates having it search engine rankings manipulated by Internet marketing practitioners and is constantly altering its algorithm to become more resilient in regards to search engine spam.
Hyperlinks from other Web pages remain the strongest signal of a Web site’s quality according to Google’s algorithm. However, Google also looks to a number of other factors to determine whether a site is important. Google is doing this because back links are to easily manipulated, so Google prefers to have some back-up verification as to whether the page is relevant or has genuine interest or importance.
Google’s secondary signals largely come from the largest social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Delicious and Digg. Google does not only examine if there have been submission to these social media sites, but, more importantly, if and how successful they have been. Some examples of strong signals that the search engine might be looking for include the following:
- How many Tweets that a particular piece of content has received as well as the reputation of the Tweeters.
- How many Diggs a particular piece of content has received and whether it has reached the first page of Digg.
- How many votes a submission has received on Delicious.
Similar signals may apply to other social media sites, such as Facebook, so Google can further understand if a particular page is important.
Google is beginning to look for signals beyond its own boundaries. This is because regular link spammers would have to manipulate more systems and algorithms to achieve similar results. At the same time, links are not as free flowing as they were in the past because individuals are voting for content without having to link to them. In the past, a particular piece of content might have received over 100 links if it was strongly promoted and well-written. Nowadays, it might get just a few links and a large number of tweets. So Google must look beyond links as well as their particular reputation or level of trust in an effort to understand what is important and current on the Web.
In order to rank well on Google’s search engines in the future, Internet marketing firms should take an organic and holistic approach. Internet marketing firms should promote themselves and their clients in as many popular mediums as possible. This will ensure higher search engine rankings and allow you to reap all the additional benefits of social media interaction.
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