Google Raises Barriers To Entry
01/07/2009 We've seen some significant movement for search engine rankings across our clients in the last week or so. Having done some digging, it transpires that Google has just implemented in the UK it's brand-centric approach to rankings which was unveiled in the US earlier this year. This is purported to favour ‘brands' over ‘non-brands' - which of course begs the unanswerable question of what constitutes a brand in Google's definition.
Whilst no-one (outside Google) has an exact answer to that just yet, based on what we've learned in the last few days, the search community seems to think that the new rules implemented by Google in the UK are now looking at several factors with renewed vigour in terms of a site's SEO ranking:
- A cohesive overall site structure
- Internal linking policies
- How urls are constructed
- Fresh content
- The age of a domain
- Chatter from social media/networks
- An external linking profile
Certainly it seems as though the value of internal linking/site architecture has risen in prominence significantly. In other words, sites which are constructed well with SEO in mind from the outset should do well/better moving forward. Also, it's believed that references to a brand in latest-punch-news.html from social media are also now more relevant and included within the new ‘brand algorithm'.
So, if a site is well constructed, has historical credibility in terms of the search engine landscape, has regularly refreshed content published on-site, inbound external latest-punch-news.html from social media etc, this change is may either make little impact or actually benefit a site's ranking.
Certainly it doesn't seem to have penalised the Punch site (as yet), actually increasing its prominence as we are now both #1 and #2 result for 'PR Agency' for example.
Still, it's certainly worth knowing that the overall landscape has shifted considerably - the net result enforcing best practice and therefore rewarding those that are currently undertaking best practice and penalising those that aren't.
There's an interesting post on this here (and I've had further verification via a briefing social-media-crisis.html that was covertly sent to me via a friend at a global ad agency, which is noticing the same activity).