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Google Working on New Fact-Based Ranking System

Google Working on Fact-Based Ranking A team of scientists at Google are reportedly working on putting together a whole new ranking system that is based on factual content. This would be a radical shift from the existing system that is essentially a popularity contest, ranking a site based on the number of links to it.

While on the surface, ranking sites based on popularity may have seemed to make sense initially, it’s easy to see how that approach quickly went off track. Many sites that were full of misinformation or opinions and theories that had no foundation in fact could easily rise up to the top of the rankings if they got enough buzz and online mentions. In addition, questionable sites could easily try to game the system by getting a lot of other sites to share their links. As a result, sites with commonly believed hoaxes, myths and inaccuracies (plus an assortment of urban legends, rumors and amateur scientists) could easily achieve top rankings.

This could then become a sort of self-perpetuating cycle, because the higher a site’s rankings, the more people were likely to see it, and then quote and link to it, thus ensuring it stayed at the top of the search results.

The new approach will evaluate a site’s trustworthiness. This will be determined in part by counting the number of incorrect facts on a page. That metric will then be used to calculate a page’s Knowledge-Based Trust score.

You are likely wondering exactly how Google will figure out how many (if any) of the facts on a web page are incorrect. The solution is easier than it may sound. Rather than hiring a massive crew of fact-checkers, Google will instead turn to a resource it already has at its disposal: the Knowledge Vault.

The Knowledge Vault is a huge database of facts that Google is constantly accumulating and storing in its archive of factual information. This vault reportedly already contains nearly 2 billion facts. In a paper in which the team of Google scientists outlined their plan and reasoning for the new fact-based ranking system, they noted that the Knowledge Vault has managed to predict the trustworthiness of 119 million webpages and 5.6 million websites.

We welcome this shift and see a lot of benefits, both to reputable sites and the people searching for information. The audience benefits because they are more likely to discover accurate, factual information when searching online. Meanwhile, sites that invest in experts or researchers to find reliable information and writers to compile this data into interesting, helpful content will find their efforts rewarded in the form of higher search rankings.

This new system will make it more important than ever for businesses to have an editorial plan and marketing strategy that emphasizes high-quality content. KEO Marketing can assist with your content marketing and search engine optimization needs.


With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.