Why Google is changing quality metrics and what to expect next
The Google Algorithm has changed and updated. We, in the search engine optimisation industry are used to this phrase already, while you businessmen aren’t!
Big Daddy, (insert name here), Panda – you name it & Google will change it! These updates are not done for the sake of updates, but rather to change up the increasingly different metrics that determine relevancy & popularity, and vary the levels of weight that Google places on those search metrics. By changing those factors, Google is working to increase the relevancy of their results to the query so it may improve user experience. It is this mission that tells us where Google is travelling in their next evolution.
In looking at the future, one must have a deep appreciation of the history of the subject. To do this we must look to the beginnings of Google.
In 199x Google sprang into existance and back then, the rules were simple. Meta keywords, page title & description alone would get you ranking for the search terms that you wanted to. These were simple times. In fact, within this time, Yahoo was a search engine that were rising up themselves! The advent of search engines were to find the best & interested parts of the web and publicise them as it was somewhat hard to get to a website without knowing the URL already. Search engines did away with that and are integral to the evolution of the internet!
Jump forward a few years later. Links were acting as the most influential & easy to control metric that could influence ranking, content was rising up as an important factor – yet the Algorithm was all extremely to game. Buy links, spam content and you’ll rank highly for a LOT of keywords. This brought in PageRank to the public eye, and suddenly there was a goal orientated element to ranking. Increase the pagerank, and conversely the keywords will start rising on their own. For a while, all was well it seemed. In fact, businesses were starting to see a small return on their investment which was nice!
Jump forward to 2007 when I came into the online marketing industry. Google switched things up even more – not all links were treated equally, nofollow started being implemented, Google started being more transparent & helpful with their technology being put to use with Web Master Tools & Analytics in an effort to improve websites across the board, but ultimately one thing rang true – content was king.
Since that time, I have witnessed the meteoric rise of social media which happily co-exists with search, rather than directly competiting with it. Yin and Yang.