The SEO landscape is constantly evolving as Google continues to smarten up its search algorithms and return the best possible results to end users. But as much as the minutia of SEO has changed over the years (there have been 27 updates to Panda believe it or not, and Penguin is approaching its 3rd birthday this spring) the fundamental pillars of the practice have remained pretty much in tact.
Traditional SEO is extremely formulaic: if you have sound technical fundamentals (site map, link structure, page speed etc.) a solid, compelling content strategy (consistently produce new, interesting content for humans, not robots – and strategically incorporate keywords/phrases where appropriate), and persistently pursue link building opportunities, over the long run you’d be fine.
But changes are in the wind. According to a new report by Gizmodo, Google is preparing a major addition to their SEO equation – it’s being called the “Knowledge Based trust score”. This new scoring factor looks to rate content based on how objectively accurate it is, when checked against a database of generally accepted facts. We don’t yet know when to expect the trust score to make it’s debut in the SEO wild, or how big an impact it may actually make in its early days. One thing is clear, however, in that this is a fundamental shift in the equation. This move clearly takes some (let’s not go overboard yet – but some…) of the emphasis away from the popularity contest that is link building, and puts a little more weight into a site’s own content.
After all, at the end of the day, SEO is about surfacing the most relevant, true and accurate content to the end users, not necessarily just the content from the most “popular” providers on the web.