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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