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Google changes ranking advice. Quality not Links.

     
12:05 am on Jun 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Ranking

Sites' positions in our search results are determined based on hundreds of factors designed to provide end-users with helpful, accurate search results. These factors are explained in more detail at http://www.google.com/competition/howgooglesearchworks.html [google.com].

In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share. For more information about improving your site's visibility in the Google search results, we recommend visiting Webmaster Academy which outlines core concepts for maintaining a Google-friendly website

Previously, the article had a line that read:

In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.
We’ve bolded the key part, which was changed on May 27th to say:

In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.
You can see the old version on The Wayback Machine; [web.archive.org...] the change was spotted yesterday by Erik Baeumlisberger. [twitter.com...]

The change is consistent with a message that Google’s been pushing recently, to focus people less on link building and more on building quality content. The head of Google’s web spam fighting team, Matt Cutts, spoke about this in a video to publishers on April 29 .... see article for more details : [searchengineland.com...]

[edited by: phranque at 11:33 am (utc) on Jun 20, 2013]
[edit reason] fixed url [/edit]

12:51 pm on June 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I'm sure Google would like webmasters to stop linking to one another. Bing and Yahoo would like the same I'm sure. Less referral traffic would mean that ordinary users would have a greater reliance on a search product.

Before Google starts beating the quality drum again, their webspam team really needs to address content theft. I'm seeing small/micro business websites being replaced in Google's serps by those that have stolen our client's "quality content" by merely posting it on a blogspot subdomain and spamming it with links. Google needs to drop the whitelisting of their own properties and respect an original authors work, regardless of where it may reside.

Remember that if the content you create is really of a high standard that is worthy of natural links, it is very likely to be scraped as well. There's nothing worse than seeing hours of research, image/video editing benefiting thieves instead of your clients. Google is culpable in these situations because they can identify and rank the originals if they want. Apparently Google does not want to, especially when the stolen content is getting traffic to one of their properties.
2:27 pm on June 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I had with a site, worked on user matrix, bounces from 89% down to 48% and time on site from 0.47min to 1.50min, NOTHING happened with the sites ranking.
4:44 pm on June 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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As long as Penguin is part fo the ranking algorithm, then I won't believe that Google is putting quality above backlinks.
5:21 pm on June 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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#1 World's leading search engine says Links Are Important.
A few steps led up to this:

# 0.1 Nobody much worries about getting links.

# 0.2 It's a web, so webmasters join by linking to whatever they like, or is relevant.

# 0.3 Sites become defined by their written content and what they link to.

# 0.4 SEO is mostly focused on on-page factors. Mostly re-re-re-re-repeating the same keyword. Webmasters face tough math questions like "that scummy page above me has 37 instances of the keyword. How many times do I have to repeat it for it to be more than 37?" Also sometimes posed as "what's a bigger number than 37?"

# 0.5 Grad students discover links are an astonishingly accurate guide to relevance and quality. In a world where they are freely given, but not sought.

# 0.6 Naively publish papers spilling the beans, not realizing the insight is worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

# 0.7 Yes, it was inevitable by now.

# 0.8 Power of the idea creates the world's #1 SE.
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