Google was a pioneer in the search world for ranking websites based on incoming links as well as content. But which other measures could the search giant use to evaluate relevance?

Apart from the top level ‘links’ and ‘content’, which we know affect placement, online marketers use experience and testing to work out the other things Google looks at when ascertaining the relevancy of web pages for search terms.

What other top level techniques could Google potentially use (if it isn’t already) to determine web page relevancy?

1.       Video Content – Listening for brand mentions in video.

With Google owning YouTube, it is in a prime position to build technology which can analyse words used within user generated videos.

The technology could recognise the use of brand and product names, and rank the websites of regularly mentioned brands higher.

On another level, the technology could be intelligent enough to recognise brand logos in videos. One might argue it’s a step too far, and gives an unfair advantage to established brands, but then again, aren’t established brands the most likely to be talked about anyway?

2.       Gmail – Rating websites by their mentions in email.

If any of these techniques happen already it’s got to be this one.

We all trust our family, friends, colleagues and associates (the people who email us), so if we assume they would only send us relevant and resourceful links, wouldn’t this be an invaluable measure of a web page’s quality?

3.       Conversation tracking – Rating brands that generate positive online conversations online higher.

I once wrote on Debra Mastaler’s blog about how brands that are suffering bad publicity end up acquiring SEO friendly links.

Companies such as Market Sentinel have software that understands the sentiment of online conversations.

Imagine if Google could understand the difference between positive and negative conversation and discount links which are born out of negativity accordingly.

Those are a few of my suggestions, and I welcome any others in the comments box below.


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Online Reputation and Buzz Monitoring Buyer’s Guide 2008

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): A Beginner’s Guide


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