Content accuracy is not a ranking factor

Google's systems can not verify its accuracy; According to Google Research Manager Danny Sullivan, in a tweet posted from his personal account on September 9, Danny Sullivan, head of Google research, said the site was based on signals that he said conformed to the "relevance of the subject and authority". conversation.

Here is the tweet and the question that aroused it.

This is not a popularity contest. When Bill Slawski, director of research on SEO at Go Fish Digital, quoted Google's own explanation of how search algorithms work, interpreting them as meaning that popularity determines the degree of trust of the content, Sullivan replied, "No. This is not a popularity. "He went on to explain that the popularity would be too simple a signal and possibly inapplicable to new queries, which represent 15% of Google's daily search volume.

In Search of More Founded Research Results: A Little History. In an effort to improve the quality of its results, Google announced Project Owl in April 2017; the project had a stronger focus on authoritative content and allowed users to comment on self-completed search suggestions and responses to abstracts.

In November 2017, Google also partnered with The Trust Project to bring more transparency to the content of information and combat. the distribution of misinformation. One of its first steps was to allow publishers to add up to eight "confidence indicators" to disclose information such as point-of-sale funding, point-of-sale mission , the author's know-how, the type of writing, etc., via structured markup of data.

In September 2019, the company updated its research quality assessment guidelines in order to focus on checking sources of information, content YMYL and its creators. It also broadened the basis on which an evaluator could apply the lowest ratings to content that could propagate hatred.

The reaction. Sparktoro's founder, Rand Fishkin, disapproved of Sullivan's explanation, saying that machines can attribute levels of accuracy to the content, citing "factual extractions from the calculator to filmographic responses to travel information."

Judith Lewis, founder of DeCabbit Consultancy, pointed out the complexity of the problem, adding that machine learning "allows to some extent assess the accuracy of all this which does not relate to personal experience ". Lewis also suggested that Sullivan's answer could give Google a little room for maneuver.

Jenny Halasz, president of JLH Marketing, echoed a sentiment that could be shared by many SEOs when she tweeted, "YES, a thousand times YES! Thanks @ Dannysullivan. It's a myth that will not die. "Halasz also pointed to the irony that Google itself provides search results whose content asserts that accuracy is a ranking factor.

Why we have to worry about it Content accuracy is important to users, but as Sullivan explained, it's not a Google ranking factor. The relevance of the subject and its authority – not to be confused with popularity, which can result from both – are the signals on which Google's systems support classifying content.

About the Author

George Nguyen is an associate writer with Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism and narration.

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