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5 Takeaways and Assumptions from Matt Cutt's Video on Authority vs. Popularity

1. Google repeatedly tries to downplay the role of social signals in the algorithm. I actually believe them, and take Matt at his word. Where I believe Google is going with social signals is the idea of establishing identity.

2. Raw social signals are messy. Identity is a much more useful signal for determining authority than raw social signals, which can be gamed. Identity on the web is hard to figure out, but Google+ helps a lot. Matt doesn't explicitly say this, but this and past statements support this assumption very well.

3. In the past, Google rewarded highly authoritative websites through traditional signals analogous to Trust Authority and Domain Authority, which were highly dependent on raw PageRank and anchor text signals.

This promoted sites with high Domain Authority scores even for long tail terms that they weren't necessarily an authority on. Think of the New York Times ranking for a page on Justin Bieber, just because they have the authority of the New York Times.

4. Going forward, Google plans to incorporate better authority and relevancy signals (possibly based on identity, semantic analysis and other factors I can't begin to imagine).

The result of which is the influence of traditional Domain Authority signals will diminish.

5. How do we adapt and take advantage of Google's new relevancy signals? (yet to be proven or released)

 • Become an authority.
 • Establish real people as authors.
 • Publish regularly creating best-of-class authoritative content on particular subjects.
 • Continue to use good site architecture and best semantic practices to make the meaning of your content clear to Google.
 • Actively promote your content through influencers and influential channels (this isn't link building, it's targeted distribution)

#SEO #Google #marketing  
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21 comments
 
The "topic authority" changes that Matt talks about could (and should) have some real impact. Maybe they'll help to reverse the "Panda effect" that gave a boost to megasites at the expense of expert niche sites.
 
Great Insight as always, Cheers
 
it also sheds light on a effective safer use of anchor texts based on topic
 
Excellent summary. Funny how Matt brushes aside the first part of the question related to social signals. Got to hand it to him, the guy is entertaining :-)
 
Thanks for taking the time to share this Cyrus.
 
Cutts only tells us what Google wants us to do, not what works 
 
Re social signals: Google has said any number of times that social signals aren't part of the ranking algorithm, so why should Matt have wasted his time covering well-trodden ground? The interesting part of the question was the part about site popularity vs. authority (and how Google hopes to do a better job of identifying "topic authority.")
 
Thanks Cyrus for reading between the lines on this video. Your clarifications and opinions helped me a lot
 
+Durant Imboden I've been under the impression that Google has been including social signals, specifically with G+ within their algorithm. 
 
+Michael Killi: Matt Cutts of Google has said that Facebook and Twitter signals aren't used in the ranking algorithm. He explained this in detail (including the reasons why) in a Webmaster Video a few months ago. As for Google+, G+ are indexed and used in personalized results, but a study that Eric Enge reported on at Search Engine Land last November showed no correlation between G+ signals and Google Search rankings:
http://searchengineland.com/study-shows-no-clear-evidence-that-google-plus-drives-ranking-171789
 
+Durant Imboden thank you for the clarification.  It's likely because they can't control the authenticity of the signals.  It's very easy to buy likes/shares/RTs/etc...
 
Speaking of social signals, it's interesting that, in his "10 years out" speculation, Matt emphasizes the identity aspects of "social."
 
Got a nice tip out of that and that is Google still looks at authority of inbound links. Also that popularity is a measure, but it doesn't seem to be that prominent yet. Or my guess would be that something will rank very well if the traffic to the page is high and if the social shares are above a certain number and I would imagine consistent. 
 
We need take care personality of goolge plus, do not do anything over a human can do. Buy like and share can be still there but their account will be filtered by spam with some new techs from browsers and scripts
 
+Michael Killi Last year, at PubCon 2013 (in Las Vegas), Cutts took a stab at explaining social signals and how they might affect rank. He basically said if you develop authority as a result of your social media activity that implies people are paying attention to you. So, search engines should pay attention too.
 
Someone can explains why Matt Cutts is screwed on FES in all his videos ?  Morocco is not the beating heart of research and development in telecommunications or internet services ... And, we do not care about his favored holiday destination.
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