Welke factoren bepalen de rankings in de natuurlijke zoekresultaten in Google? En welke ontwikkelingen kunnen we in 2014 kunnen verwachten op dit gebied? In dit interview vertelt Dixon Jones, medeoprichter van Majestic SEO, de grootste softwareorganisatie wereldwijd op het gebied van linkanalyse, over zijn inzichten en tips over content rankings, Google en SEO. Een interview over de belangrijkste, internationale ontwikkelingen in de wereld van search.
-Google did a major update on their algorithm, called Hummingbird. What do you think, will be the next big step Google will make during the upcoming years?
Twelve months ago I predicted that Google would REQUIRE login to get any meaningful search results. Whilst they do not yet REQUIRE this, they have made the benefits of being logged in (and the obstacles for being logged out) much more pronounced, so I am going to stick with that prediction. Moreover - I think that their recent purchase of “Nest” will very quickly change the way we see Google as Google’s personalisation goes to a new level by leveraging the "Internet of Things” into its altos.
- Since Majestic SEO is all around links, do you expect the value of links will be decreasing in the future? What do you think of using social signals as ranking factors?
How do you get to any website? You either type the whole address into a search bar, or you click on something. With the increase in tablets and mobiles this increases the propensity to click vs type… so yes of course, links remain a CRITICAL part of the user journey, regardless of search, so search engines would be unwise to relegate the signal. The influx of social factors does not diminish the importance of links, because social signals are STILL LINKS. If a person on Twitter links to something, it’s still a link! If “your friends recently visiting a site” is a signal in your personalised search, they still visited via a link and so will you (from the SERPs) when you click on Google’s result. But what has changed with the advent of social factors is the importance of trust in a URL. If two Twitter profiles link to you - then one will be more influential than the other. these profiles are just URLs. Just Links with a human connection. We know that follower counts are not necessarily a good measure if Trust, and nor are direct link counts, but there are ways to find good measures of trust and flowing trust through links turns out to be pretty good.
- Looking to links in general, what are your views on topics like keyword rich anchor texts and co-occurence?
Exact anchor text better be your brand, your URL or a very small percentage of your link equity to avoid a penalty. Partial anchor text match has more leeway before it gets penguined. Anchor text remains a signal (both positive and negative) but it was over abused by SEOs because historically Yahoo Search Explorer helped to expose it. I think page titles of the source URLs and the content on the source URLs is probably a better factor. in terms of c0-occurence, I do believe that when it isn’t manipulated, there is merit in similar businesses of similar standing getting mentioned in similar circles. If you regularly go to Food and Drinks conferences and you did not hear the names “Pepsi or Coca-cola” mentioned at all, then eventually these companies would lose market share.
- Last December you launched your own search engine, Search Explorer Alpha. Are there any intentions to become the new Google and if not, why wouldn't you?
Not a Google for this extremely important reason... Google’s revenues are based on adverts and their system of dynamic bidding guarantees that the search company with the largest market share will consistently get the highest bid price. So by being the biggest player, Google has leveraged its market share to make direct competition mathematically irrational. Majestic SEO is a subscription based model and I think our web offering will remain that way. How our API and data propagates to third parties is interesting - but depends on who might want a Search API.
- What is your opinion on the monopoly Google has in Europe, or almost all over the world? Looking to search specific, what are your views on more advertisement (pushing organic results below the fold) and Google integrating more information directly via the Knowledge graph?
The monopoly is problematic for sure. It must now be getting legally problematic for Google itself in Europe - where being a monopoly and in particular leveraging your monopoly has considerably more legal ramifications than in America. It’s undoubtedly a problem for consumers as Google (as you imply in your question) moves towards almost entirely monetised traffic… at least in what we might traditionally call its search engine. However - I think the bigger issue is Google’s ability (and desire) to break into new markets by disrupting the market in ways which stifle a competitor’s ability to compete and innovate. Take Nest in the USA for example - an Intelligent heating system for the home that Google just bought up. Google may initially give every consumer a “free” heating system in your home which saves you money! Can’t argue with that can you? But then Google will pass those costs and more onto the energy companies now fighting for your custom - so in the end you pay in your fuel bill - but you won’t see that as a consumer. In the meantime, no company can afford to develop a “more intelligent” heating system because Google now controls too much of the consumer energy market! Clever huh? But ultimately disastrous if Google ever stops innovating.
- What is your most important take-away for visitors of the Friends of Search conference?
Being able to understand and Measure Trust universally across the web at scale and on the fly is increasingly fundamental to all Internet Marketing decisions and Search is becoming a science for measuring and scoring that Trust in context.
Meer weten over SEO ranking factoren in Google?
Dixon Jones is één van de 15 internationale sprekers op Friends of Serach op donderdag 20 februari 2014 in Amsterdam. Kijk voor meer informatie over het programma, de sprekers en om je direct in te schrijven op http://www.friendsofsearch.nl/
Dit interview is gehouden door Lennert de Rijk, Managing Director en Co-founder van internationaal online marketing bureau Internet Advantage.
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