by: Aaron Abbott on | Prominent Placement
This is going to be huge. We're predicting a momentous change in Google's organic ranking algorithm based on the "votes" of searchers. Everyone knows that Google's algorithm relies heavily on the quantity and quality of inbound links when determining how to rank a particular web page for a particular search query. While inbound links are a pretty good indicator of a site's quality, and should affect rankings, they're certainly not a perfect gauge. The system can be gamed, and it's a somewhat indirect method of judging a site. Google has announced two changes to its results pages in the past three weeks which we believe signify a critical turning point in how organic rankings will be calculated in the future.
- On March 10, Google announced that searchers can block sites that appear in the results if they feel they're irrelevant, offensive, or of low quality. Currently, this works only for the searcher that places the block. But according to Google, "we’ll look at the data and see whether it would be useful as we continue to evaluate and improve our search results in the future." (Source: Google's blog - link above)
- On March 30, Google announced that searchers can recommend sites that appear in the results if they find them to be particularly relevant or useful. The use of the new "+1" button is similar to Facebook's "Like" icon, but in addition to appearing on websites, it will also appear in both the organic and paid listings on Google's search results pages. Similarly to the above, while +1 doesn't currently affect rankings, per Google, "we’ll look at it as a potential signal to improve search quality as well." (Source: Search Engine Land)