Google Talks Ranking Factors

    July 12, 2008

Google search engine ranking team Google Fellow Amit Singhal published a blog post “Introduction to Google Ranking” at the official Google blog.

While not going into the specific nuts-and-bolts factors influencing SERPs (or search engine results pages), Amit outlined a number of broad principles to keep in mind when optimizing your web pages.

Principle 1: “Best locally relevant results served globally”

As I’ve earlier noted, your geographic location, specifically your IP number can determine the search results returned.

Amit’s assurance that they operate on the “no query left behind” principle, meaning every user query gets the most relevant results, is yet another assertion that the “user experience” more so than the affiliate marketer, SEO or even adwords advertiser’s interest is given priority.

google ranking factors

If you’ve been following developments (and educated guesses) in the SEO field, you’ll know that meta criteria like “time on site” and other deeper level criteria from Google Analytics (and no doubt, Google own deeper level analytics, and possibly algorithms derived from basic analytics) are being incorporated into these ranking factors.

I applaud the SEOs who’re on the leading edge in following and sometimes trying to step ahead of Google to rank higher in the SERPs. For the average internet marketer, developing a long term sustainable business model and providing original, quality, link worthy content is probably the best route for now.

Principle 2: Keep It Simple

What’s simple to a UC Berkeley or Carnegie Mellon comp sci major might be rocket science to the average man.

Again, the average man-in-the-street marketer is going to be hard pressed to come up with anything innovative, unless you’ve got the technical chops of a BlueHat SEO with his madlib and deeplinking strategies.

As Google has mentioned in its Quality Guidelines, using off-the-shelf software can lead to detrimental results in your rankings (disclaimer: unless you have the technical knowhow to understand the system, rather than keying in your URL and hitting the submit button).

Principle 3: No Manual Intervention

What’s interesting is that the ranking team is making about 10 changes to the algorithm each week, which accounts for the fluctuations in SERP positions (in addition to data from spider data).

Here’s the double-edged sword for marketers and business owners “Improving the underlying algorithm not only improves that one query, it improves an entire class of queries” – Which explains the phenomenon where a crackdown on MFA (made-for-adsense) sites also takes down legitimate sites – because of a rule-based algorithm. The “trick” is figuring out how to stay on the right side of big G and benefitting from the changes.

Which isn’t difficult if you approach building your online business just like a brick-and-mortar business – based on solid fundamentals, with a long term view and on a sustainable basis.