Trust and Authority in Google’s Algorithm

    January 21, 2008

If you’ve ever been to search engine conference and attended a site review session chances are you’ve heard panelists mention duplicate content penalties and filters.

For “normal” people these problems are real, however with Google a double standard exists for trusted authority websites.


Case and point the SERP for [Green Real Estate] screen shot below:

green real estate - Google Search

The #7 listing goes to this page on

Green Real Estate - Forbes

The #10 listing goes to this page on

Green real estate - msnbc

Ok first off I don’t mean to imply that MSN is scraping Forbes, I’m quite sure there is a syndication arrangement in place and no copyright laws are being broken.

However the content is identical, so identical that Google should have no problem realizing one is a copy of the other, however they don’t. The simple fact is that right now trust and authority are weighted so high within the algo that they completely trump all other factors.