It’s no secret that over the last couple years Google has put a heavy emphasis on user based metrics when calculating rankings. From old twitter real time results, to indexing Facebook data, and personalized SERPs, Google has long wanted to make the transition from heavy content and link based metrics to morphing (at least a little bit) to a user-specific metric index.
It’s clear that in the last year Google has kicked social into high gear, and there’s no sign of the Mountain View giant slowing down their social driven indexation initiative. And why should they, from the early days of accounting for link algorithmic data, to having a larger than life index, Google has set the tone in all search engine best practices.
Last week Google released the updates that went live in the month of April. Among these was an update that focusus solely on user based metrics.
“More authoritative results. We’ve tweaked a signal we use to surface more authoritative content.”
Like the Venice update, it’s my belief that this one will pass under the radar as well…at least for the time being.
In the next year to year and half, Google will likely be taking into account author markup in the algorithms. This update could be the first building block in implementing these changes. It’s no secret that author markup increases traffic and background trust-ability, but until now there’s never been a significant change to the algorithms that suggests that power has been given to the individual and the domain.
When you combine author markup with “behavioral metrics” such as bounce rate and indexation speed via social signals, you are left with significant factors that all but tell you what to do for future SERP domination.
Whether we agree with the current algo updates or not, Google still has 60% market share, so we probably have to play the hand that the big G deals us.
Update 5-10-12: David Angotti, business/SEM heavy hitter, mentioned on SEJ that Google seems to be testing the Knowledge Graph that it mentioned would be coming to a SERP near you earlier this year. If so, this represents a large change to the search world, and the internet as a whole. The knowledge graph uses a significant amount of semantic data to help populate the SERPs as opposed to relying so heavily on keyword data.