Posted in Search Engine Optimisation by Promote
It would be a serious understatement to simply say that Trump is in the news. The same could be said for Google. Indeed, both Trump and Google have been reaching news headlines for quite some time, however currently both Trump and Google are in the news for the same reason, Google search results. As a professional digital marketing agency, we are keen to seize every opportunity to discover more information about this ever-changing industry. So can anything be learned from this?
According to Trump (and numerous other commentators), Google is deliberately downplaying positive news stories talking about the 45th President of the United States. Additionally, he claims that they are also promoting negative stories from the 'mainstream media' in search queries such as 'Trump News'.
At first glance it might not seem like much. Politicians and companies have disagreements frequently; however this does provide a real world example of how Google's search algorithm works.
Indeed, for many SEO Experts, this news comes as no surprise. Not because of a conspiracy as discussed by numerous individuals online, but instead because of the algorithm itself. Google's search algorithm uses a large number of indicators. According to Google, the algorithm uses over 200 in order to rank pages and to provide the user with relevant search results to their query.
One of the factors considered by the algorithm is links. This means that sites such as CNN and BBC rank higher on Google than sites such as Breitbart, however if you want to understand why, you'll need to take a closer look at how Google uses links to judge the value of the information on a website.
As an exercise, let's imagine two hypothetical websites; website A and website B.
If website A links to a page on website B about something, for example some information about 'Pens', then in the eyes of Google's algorithm, Website B will have more weight with regards to Pens than Website A, as a result of the link. If more sites continue to link to Website B for 'Pens', then in a hypothetical scenario where all other factors are equal, website B would rank higher in the search engine results pages for the phrase 'Pens'.
Fun Fact: At one point the top search result for the phrase 'click here' used to be Adobe as so many sites linked to Adobe for Flash player and / or Adobe PDF reader with links saying, you guessed it, 'Click Here'. Though this is no longer the case.
CNN and the BBC have been around for much longer than websites such as Breitbart or alternative media sources and as such they have had much longer to develop a large number of links. Indeed, just think of how many social media posts are sent every day with links to news stories on the BBC and CNN.
Furthermore, many of these websites such as BBC are visited by a lot of individuals every single day. Indeed, according to Alexia (a website which ranks other websites according to how many visit they get) the BBC website is the 6th most popular website in the UK and is ranked 98th with regards to worldwide popularity. As a result of these figures, it's no wonder that Google ranks the BBC quite highly for news stories; in the eyes of the algorithm the website has relevant content because a large number of users visit the website.
As with anything you read (both online and offline), it's very important to check the data presented to you. Additionally, it's important to remember that one should take care to not fall prey to the logical fallacy, 'cum hoc ergo propter hoc', also known as “correlation does not imply causation". For example, there is a correlation between the divorce rate in Maine and the per capita consumption of margarine in the United states.
Whilst at first glance, it may seem strange to websites such as CNN, the BBC, and the Guardian dominating the search results, upon further analysis the idea that Google is deliberately weighting the news results has no evidence to back it up; especially when you think about it from a SEO perspective.
With the above information, you might be concerned about how your new website could possibly hope to rank higher than older more established websites. However, as we stated earlier, Google uses a wide variety of different factors in order to rank websites for search queries. In addition to links, one such factor is on page content.
In the previous example, we discussed a hypothetical scenario where all other factors are equal, however it is very important to note that this is a hypothetical scenario and 'all other factors' are rarely equal in the real world. If we look at the above example in which website B receives more links than website A, one way that website A could work to outrank website B is to improve the content on their page. For example, they could create high quality content with plenty of lexical terms (phrases which are linked to the keyword). With regards to 'Pens', some potential lexical terms could be ink, paper, and calligraphy. Indeed, boosting the quality of on page content could cause website A to outrank website B, even though the website B has more links.
It is important to remember that Search Engine Optimisation is not a quick digital marketing solution. Indeed, if you are interested in a short term strategy, we would recommend a digital marketing strategy that includes Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC). However, to get the best results, we recommend a digital marketing campaign that includes both SEO and PPC.
If you would like to learn more information about how SEO and PPC can help to increase your website's rankings in search engine results pages, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Promote team. With over 10 years of experience, you can place your trust in the skills of our digital marketing agency.
If you would like to speak to the Promote Agency team, please call 0118 380 1002. Our lines are open Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.30pm. However, if you would prefer to reach out to us online, you can contact us in the following ways.