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Google Ranking Factors: Will Links Diminish in Value?

It is normal that any individual signal to lose over time its value in the search engine algorithm, as more variables are added into the mix. This is also the situation for links, which have been losing value for about five years now, due to the increasing manual and algorithmic penalties and adding in of other metrics.

Some of the Google queries have paid vertical adds, some are localized, some have lots of usage data, some are using Google’s new knowledge graph, some are mobile centric. All these variations of queries impact different areas of SEO, to different degrees. SEO might still be profitable for another five years or a decade, for small businesses.

There are other search engines, such as Russian search engine Yandex, that work without links. Google can also use some vertical bases metrics to replace links, such as Google+ activity, search history, location, YouTube usage data, and others means.

Crackdown on Low-quality Links

Low-quality links are slowly replacing links-in-general in the Google search algorithm. There are already in place policies for massive manual and algorithmic penalties that have the effect of having the links not count for some websites. The Google’s Webspam policy filters out the link value through spam filtration systems or algorithms like Penguin, that remove low-quality links or spam.

Matt Cutts, the Google’s head of search spam, declared that, over time, backlinks will lose their value but they still have many years left in the Google ranking algorithm. See video here.

Google is focusing now especially on finding ways to evaluate whether or not a web page meets an expert user’s expectations. This is currently performed by evaluating the page’s links, the quality of the content provided, and the overall reputation of the website and pages.

Google made progress in understanding the natural language, which you can notice in their conversational search. In the near future Google will improve its understanding the queries made by expert users and will be able to provide better answers to those queries.

In order to achieve that, Google tries to evaluate whether or not the content on a page is written by an expert in a certain niche. Google is also working to boost the rankings of expert authors. Until new progress is to be made in improving Google’s search algorithm, they are using natural languages on a page by page basis in order to determine if the author is an expert on the subject query.

The conclusion is that it might be wise for webmasters and online business owners to focus their efforts in creating quality content and building just a few links that really matters rather than building all kind of links in great numbers.

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Could Structured Data Be a Future Ranking Factor in Google?

Google Strictired Data Ranking FactorCurrently, Google denies any claims that it could be using structured data to rank websites on the World Wide Web. The search giant’s denial contradicts with most an SEO professional’s beliefs that structured markup does affect how well a website ranks.

So, even though Google is currently in denial, will it give in in the future? We cannot be sure but there is enough evidence to support a positive for the hypotheses. Below is information which keeps you in the light of what is going on.

Google Hints

As Google puts it, structured data is all about helping its engines better understand your content, which is imperative to actual ranking. Although using Schema and structured data markup does not have a direct correlative effective on how well your site ranks, you may want to anticipate this to change in the near future.

Although informally, Googler John Mueller said that structured markup is something that might be integrated into Google’s ranking algorithm could be in the near future. He continues in the company’s assertion that it is currently not using it for ranking purposes but there is a high likelihood of that Google has an intention of using it in the future. See more about this at Search Engine Land's post on this topic. Or see the video Google Hangout below on his thoughts about this.

Avoid Google Guessing What Your Site Is About

So how would structured data improve the experience of people who use Google to search for information on the Internet? In Mueller’s view, structured markup is integrated into a website to make it easier for their search engines to understand its content.

If someone is browsing for information about a car on the Internet and Google happens to 'know’ pages which are marked up with data for the same car, it will bring up these pages assuming that they will be useful to the querying user. Unlike what they currently do, structured data markup eliminates chances that the search algorithm will guess that a certain page is about the car for which a user needs information.

Better Answers to Search Queries

Mueller however continued to assert that they will not favor pages with great markup technicality at the expense of pages which carry useful content. You might want to recall that useful content in Google’s perspective points out to that which gives the best answer to a web visitor's queries.

All in all, it does not hurt to be in the light. If they are going to throw in structured data, you would better begin tuning up your pages else you will be caught unawares. Think about your competitors; if they have got wind about this development, they are probably adding structured markup to their pages or planning about doing it soon.

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An Inside Look at Google's RankBrain Algorithm

Have you heard about the latest in RankBrain? Do you know what RankBrain is? Time to take a look at the new search engine algorithm mechanism by Google, RankBrain -specifically the search engine ranking factors associated with RankBrain. Also take a look at how this might impact SEO.

Google RankBrain: What Is It?

RankBrain is a system of machine learning which is actually an artificial intelligence system. Artificial intelligence or AI is the term that refers to intelligence performed by software or machines. In basic terms and academic terms it covers the study of creating software and computers that have the capability of intelligent behavior.

Specifically, RankBrain is the AI system that helps process results of search for Google. It was confirmed to be in use by Google on October 26, 2015. The purpose of Google RankBrain as with most new algorithms by Google is to provide more relevant experience for the users. In this case in the area of providing search results.

Google RankBrain & SEO

Is Google RankBrain important in the SEO community? According to published interview RankBrain is only behind links and content for importance in the ranking algorithm. In the world of SEO or search engine optimization this makes it the next most important thing to consider after rank and content for ranking in Google search results.

A quick breakdown of RankBrain. It embeds a wide amount of language into vectors. Basically the benefit of RankBrain is it uses artificial intelligence to guess what phrases or words mean when it encounters phrases and words that it is not familiar with. This is great for efficiency especially in the area of search queries it has never encountered before.

If you are into SEO marketing this will only dovetail searches into existing searches that contain new phrasing looking for the same things. RankBrain will guess at the meaning and send them right to your SEO site based on artificial intelligence. With that said, best practices of SEO will still hold true for performance in ranking. Let's take a look at a few of the latest best practices. SEO improves your efforts by targeting the specific areas that specific search engines find the tops in importance.

Google RankBrain Algorithm Factors

The AI of RankBrain just channels new phrasing down this same road with mathematical guessing. Here are some factors that all search engines examine for ranking purposes. What does the profile of linking look like for your site? Is it providing value to other users of the web? Does your site's content provide unique, relevant, informative, and authoritative content? Keeping these things in mind will help you in keeping best practices for optimum in SEO performance.

Another thing to consider is your site's structure. This will influence factors that affect your SEO site's rank. Things to consider are speed of loading pages. The design and structure changes the quickness of upload. Keep this in mind early and keep it updated often especially in relation to your closest competition.

Another structural factor to consider is your navigation. Is your site easy to get around? Click through? Find what you need? This type of site architecture examination will help you make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. Lastly and most easy to fix is the elimination of broken links. Keeping these off your site takes your attention but is always well worth it.

There you have it. An inside look at Google's RankBrain algorithm and a few SEO best practices. Google is always doing thing to make search easier for both sides of the query and RankBrain is no different.

To learn more about Goolge RankBrain, checkout some of the following resource:

How Google’s RankBrain Algorithm Affects SEO in 2016

FAQ: All About The New Google RankBrain Algorithm

RankBrain Unleashed

RankBrain: How Google Is Using Artificial Intelligence To Rank Web Pages

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