Google’s latest update, Penguin, implemented some new tricks for search engine optimization. Google has not been forthcoming about what the new algorithm favors, but there is speculation. Konstantin Kreouzis has a new essay where he lists five unknown factors that might have an impact. The essay does not provide any data to prove these rules matter, but Kreouzis hints that there might be some validation informing the essay.
The first unknown rule is a mixture of anchor texts. The more variety in the anchor text then the more authentic the links appear to Google. The bots that spread links everywhere tend to use the same anchor text, so Google uses that as a way to determine quality. Another rule to variety of links deals with spread across a website. If links point to low level pages and the top level page equally, then Google counts that as inauthentic. The top page should have the most links and they should become increasingly rare the deeper into a website Google goes. Links should also be coming in from more then .com domains. The more variety in the type of domains then the more credible Google scores a website.
The next rule is one that needs some evidence, but the explanation makes sense. Programs that spin content tend to have uniformity in the size of words. They tend to be very long or very short. Varying the size of words helps increase credibility rating in Google’s estimation. The average word length for an article should be 5.5 words.
Google is also now measuring the time people spend on a website. The way this is done is by measuring the time after search engine results are presented to the time when the user returns for another search. There are obviously problems with this measure, but there is some data to suggest a quick turn around tells Google the quality of the results is not as good as if the user returns to searching in a long time.
While the social media agency might like to stop dealing with search results altogether, for now it still represents the best investment to be made for driving traffic. Google’s Penguin update was a way to stop the gaming of the system and to move to quality as a determinant of ranking. Hopefully these rules help the agency know some of what Google is looking for.