We are endlessly reminded by how-to guides and SEO blogs that you can rank higher in search engines if your website has a good amount of inbound links pointing to it. This is a reality within the SEO industry. But digital marketing forums and blogs have something in common – they both convey personal opinions. Anyone in the know about SEO should be telling you to take that advice with a pinch of salt.
Are links important? Yes. As a matter of fact, Google dropped backlinks from their algorithm as a test. The final result was drastically worse, so they claim. They quickly put backlinks back into the algorithm as an important ranking factor.
But why are backlinks important? Well, the idea is that links are a signal of value. Of trust. For obvious reasons though, that’s a flawed system. This ‘link-based economy’ can be manipulated all too easily.
Google are getting better at weeding out that manipulation; but a new player in the algorithm may help to refine things further by taking a completley different perspective – they’re calling it Knowledge-Based Trust (KBT).
Recently, Google has released a PDF document which suggests that there may be a potential twist within Search Engine Optimisation and Google’s algorithm. Web pages in the distant future may potentially be evaluated by their factual accuracy. So, rather than just looking at the links pointing to you (and their relevance, quality, etc) they will actually factor in the quality of the information on your site too.
What is Knowledge-Based Trust you ask? Allow us to briefly explain
Google propose a completely new approach in terms of ranking websites. Their approach relies upon endogenous signals, in particular, the accuracy of factual information originating from a web page. A web page that has fewer false facts is considered to be more reliable and trustworthy. The facts are swiftly obtained from each and every web page by information extraction techniques commonly used to assemble knowledge bases.
Google propose a way to distinguish errors made within the extraction process from factual errors within the web page. They refer to the trustworthiness score as Knowledge-Based Trust.
Google’s Knowledge-Based Trust (KBT)
The team at Google have released further details with regards to their feasible long-term plans. Google propose the new strategy will interlink with Google’s Knowledge Vault. The Knowledge Vault is a gigantic database of factual information which Google has accumulated from the web.
Websites will be analysed via the Knowledge Vault and evaluated on their accuracy and reliability. The greater the accuracy score, the more your website will be regarded as trustworthy and reliable. That is to say, the greater the score your website gets, you can be sure to see healthier search rankings.
The Knowledge-Based Trust plan could very well be the new method of measuring websites in order to rank them. Less mistakes and more legitimate facts could be accountable for how Google positions your website.
This is a good sign for vigilantly researched and factual websites or blogs.
Currently, this is merely a pitch. However, if the new proposal comes to the fore, things will unquestionably change. Websites which rely solely on links to pull in that much needed traffic will have to adjust their SEO campaign and content strategy accordingly.