An article today in New Scientist may be a revolutionary change for Google’s search philosophy. They are going to incorporate one of their ranking factors based on the facts on your website. To quote Hal Hodson, they are going to rank websites on truthfulness!
Now this may absolutely throw Search into a tizzy because several websites on the first page for probably millions of searches are not based on facts but on opinions or even total falsehoods. Hell, Wikipedia has “untruths” on their website and they rank on the first page for most searches one way or another.
If that is to become the “gold standard” for search results, then Google will no longer rank a site on its reputation but on its accuracy. This will change the way authors write their copy. can you say that your “any product” is the best without proving it? Adjectives may go right out the window when writing sales copy. We can write descriptive explanations but how can you use words like; best, perfect, finest or greatest? Who is the greatest anything? Do we check stats to decide? Who is the resource to decide who is telling the truth?
Right now Google uses several factors when ranking a website, but links are a large part of the equation. If links will now be replaced with truthfulness, then we are going to be writing tens or hundreds of articles trying to substantiate a claim so that those articles prove our copy when we need validity to get us to page one. This may be the best way to rank a website now, but who is the final word? Google is and we are now back to where we started. They make the rules and we follow if we don’t want to fund their PPC for the rest of our lives. Or the alternative that I find myself entertaining every time they make an algorithm change is to just bottom feed with cheap clicks and make the finest converting landing pages possible. The cost may be cheaper than organic traffic, but natural search results do convert better. (I wonder if Google will think that statement is true!)