SEOMoz has recently released their new ranking factors list for 2009. They invite 72 Search Engine Optimization ‘specialists’ to answer a rather long survey about how important they think specific factors are for ranking in the search engines. Google try to tell us that unique content will help you rank but the question is how important is it.
Google Caffeine is a beta test of Google’s improved search engine. They plan on improving the way the engine indexes site as well as improving how relevant the results are etc. etc. It’s meant to be one of the biggest updates to Google’s search engine since 2005. They have released this beta test to the people that really care about the results, us webmasters. They are listening to any feedback such as dodgey results or things not working properly. Google hopes everyday users will see no change.
Have a look at it and see if you can notice any differences. I personally cannot notice too many but others have discovered huge increases and decreases in their site’s rankings on the new update.
If you want to check geographic specific results then add the relevant string to the end of your search url. For example for the UK add “&gl=uk” to the end of your search query.
The truth is, a great deal! One would think that over the years Google are gradually getting rid high rankings sites whose content hold little relevancy to the search term, think again. A quick search for “click here” shows Adobe as ranking top even though they don’t have the phrase anywhere on the page. Old and pretty poor example but there’s a new one which has come with the release of Google Caffeine.
Thanks to DaveNaylor for the picture.
Now, to normal everyday folks the word ‘caffeine’ will simply mean the chemical compound found in coffee and not Google’s beta search. So the question is why when you search for it does www2.sandbox.google.com appear 4th in the results when it really has nothing to do with coffee or the caffeine that most people would understand. The other highlighted posts are also completely irrelevant to the search term.
Some people say that freshness of content helps ranking and so that because the irrelevant sites have newer content than the others they deserve to rank for that keyword.
I think the reason is because of the huge number of backlinks pointing to these sites from a huge number of blogs and webmaster websites. These sites linking are more than likely to be well established blogs with a large amount of authority. The power is definitely still in the backlink and not in the content. Though these sites have content which people have thought to be worthy to link.
Question is, what came first, content or backlinks? It’s easily manipulated.
What do you think? Is content king?