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Google To Rank Sites According To Reliability Of Data

Researchers have said that the search giant, Google, has developed algorithms that will enable them to rank websites according to the reliability and accuracy of the information contained on pages, rather than on the popularity of the page, which is currently the main factor that drives search result positions. The group points to a Knowledge Trust ranking that means more inconsistencies on a page will result in a lower ranking position, and which could mean that unpopular pages that contain highly relevant and accurate facts may finally be able to rank in the upper echelons of the search results.

The new algorithms would use Google’s Knowledge Vault as a means of verifying data, and this would presumably be expanded upon in order to include more data and greater details on a wider range of topics.

A Google Spokesperson has said that the company conducts considerable amounts of research every year, and that the search giant had no plans to implement the proposed changes at any point in the future, yet. However, with such attention paid to the quality of content, and the search engine’s growing library of facts and data, it is possible, at least, to see where this kind of ranking factor might prove useful, and it further points to the importance of ensuring that website content is high quality, accurate, and reliable.

The algorithm would, according to the researcher, check fairly basic facts using what are known as knowledge triplets where the algorithm would check Object, Attribute, and Value and compare the result to Knowledge Vault results, which are widely accepted as being accurate and true. For each inaccuracy that a page has, there would essentially be a penalty of sorts, and those pages with the fewest penalties would enjoy the greatest Knowledge Trust ranking gains.

Whether Knowledge Trust will be introduced to Google search algorithms in the future remains to be seen, but there are those that would certainly welcome it. Currently, those sites that are the most popular, in terms of the number and popularity of links that they receive, are the ones that appear at the top of rankings, and this does not guarantee accuracy in any way.

Google Retains UK Market Share But Bing Tops 7% In Global Stats

According to the latest report from analytics provider StatCounter, Bing has continued its march on the global search engine market and has topped 7% of the overall share. However, in the UK, Bing remains third choice at a relatively stable 1.43% with Google taking a massive 93.6% and Yahoo managing 4.75%. However, if analysts are correct regarding Apple’s impending decision to drop Google as its default search engine provider on iPhone’s Safari browser, this share could change reasonably significantly in favour of one of the other two providers.

While it was not surprising to see entertainment categories taking the majority of the most popular search terms, it was surprising to see that only one actor made the top 10 searches in a month that saw the Oscars being celebrated. The Lucy Beale storyline conclusion, news of Bobbi Kristina and updates on her coma, and the launch of the 50 Shades of Grey movie were among the most commonly searched topics.

The only actor that featured in the top 10 was Jamie Dornan, the actor that plays Christian Grey in the film. He was also among the most popular image searches as people tried to put a face to the name of a relatively unknown actor taking a lead role in a massive adaptation that was always set to be a blockbuster release.

Apple’s deal with Google, which sees the search engine installed as the default search option on Safari browsers on the iPhone, is due for renewal this year, and analysts from Citi believe it is more likely that the deal will be ended than renewed. While they have said that this would mean a drop in traffic numbers, they also believe that a combination of users reinstalling Google as the default and the lower rate that Google would have to pay for this traffic, means that the impact on bottom line profits and revenue would be much lower than expected.

With such a massive margin between Google and other search engines, they can certainly afford to lose some of their traffic, but they will not be happy about losing out to either of their main rivals, in terms of market share.

Google Ready To Improve Mobile Search Results

Google has announced that it will be making changes to its search engine algorithms, with the specific aim of improving the user experience for those that access results on a mobile device. From the end of April, there will be an increase in the number of mobile friendly results that show up, and more app content will be visible in results too. For webmasters and marketers, this means that even greater onus will be placed on creating mobile friendly sites and apps.

Google uses many ranking signals to help it determine which results should appear at the top of search engine results pages. Typically, this means that the more popular pages appear closer to the top, but the search engine doesn’t solely rely on link counts; it takes factors such as social signals into account and, according to one report at least, it aims to start using accuracy and reliability as factors in the future.

Mobile friendliness is already considered an important part of a search engine optimisation strategy. Sites are essentially tested to determine whether they can be easily accessed on modern devices like tablets and smartphones, and website owners are encouraged to ensure that their pages are set-up, designed, and developed in such a way that they will display on any type of device, and on screens of any size.

According to Google themselves, mobile friendliness will become even more important in the near future. From April 21st, mobile-friendliness will become an important ranking signal. The search giant has said that the changes will have a significant impact on search results, and have said that it will benefit users because they will be able to access a greater range of high quality content that can be accessed on whatever type of device they are using.

Google has also offered some tools to help website owners in their hunt for mobile friendliness. The Mobile Friendly Test app enables users to test a single URL at a time, while Google Webmaster Tools Mobile Usability Report allows verified site owners to be able to check a whole site quickly and easily. Site owners should check their website, determine whether it is optimised for mobile use, and take actions to provide greater accessibility where required.

Google Do Deal With Twitter – Expect More Tweets In Search Results

In earnings reports published by Twitter, the social media platform has said that Google now has access to Tweets via the Twitter “firehose”. Although Twitter and Google did not disclose any further information, it is likely to mean that the search engine will be able to query the massive database of Tweets more frequently and in greater depth than it does currently. For searchers, this means that there will be more real-time Twitter data to trawl through, while marketers should pay even more attention to their Tweets and Tweet popularity in order to find another viable avenue into Google search results. Google and Twitter once had a similar deal, although it is uncertain whether the search giant will be paying the social media giant this time, as it did with the last deal. There are, however, obvious benefits for both parties.

Google has long struggled to tame the social media beast. It has launched its own social network, Google+ and despite pushing the service and introducing a host of potentially beneficial features, it has never really taken off like Facebook or Twitter. It has also enjoyed deals with the likes of Twitter in the past, that enabled it to deliver real time results in its search engine results.

The new deal would give Google the ability to be able to provide a greater range of results to users, which is something that they have been aiming for for some time. Users can already see photos and video, shopping and maps, blogs and news posts. Adding Tweets means that they may well attract even more market share, or at least ensure that their users have greater reason to stay on the Google search site for longer periods of time.

Twitter is, when all is said and done, a media distribution company, and one of the most important factors to their business is media exposure. They know that having Tweets published in Google results is likely to lead to a massive amount of free traffic. They will gain more traffic, and some of these visitors will inevitably convert to Twitter users, which means greater advertising revenue and increased profits. This makes the deal a mutually beneficial one, although some searchers may rue the day if search results become cluttered with too many Tweets.

Google Could Be Replaced As Default iPhone Search Engine

Google could be about to lose its standing as the default search engine used by the Safari search engine on iPhones, but according to some analysts, this may have a significantly lower impact on revenue than many people might think. In fact, analysts from Citi say that, dependent on the number of Safari users that manually reinstall Google as their search engine, the search giant might end up with a revenue windfall, rather than a shortfall, although they will inevitably lose some market share.

The current deal, which means that Google is installed as the default search engine on the Safari browser, is set to expire this year. The growing level of competition between the pair means that a lot of experts are predicting that Apple will choose either Bing or Yahoo over Google, and this would mean a significant loss in search traffic from iPhone users. Citi actually predicts that this more likely to happen than not.

Google pays a percentage of its search engine revenue generated from Safari traffic to Apple. It pays 45% of revenue for any traffic that is generated from the default Google page on Safari, compared to only 5% that it pays for traffic generated from users that search on Google.com. This is a significant difference, and one that Citi analysts believe could plug the revenue generation gap that might be generated by being replaced as the default engine. In fact, their analysts say that, despite meaning a loss in traffic and market share, the move may actually benefit Google’s net revenue – although it is hard to imagine Google being excited over the prospect of losing market share to any of its rivals.

Citi predict that nearly half of iPhone users would revert to using Google.com as their default search engine on Safari, and they also believe that this would, following the dissolution of the default search engine deal, mean that Google might lose half of the searches that they currently generate this way, but they would only be paying a 5% fee and this would mean a loss of less than $1bn in total revenue. That is still a large amount, but it is an estimate – consider that Google’s market share on all devices, and in all markets, is considerably higher than 50% and it means that many more than 50% might revert to Google. In this case, the search giant may actually generate higher revenue, following any possible change.