Google ranking factors are trending towards human interest

By Chris Marentis

GenNext Media Corp.

Google continues to evolve. Likewise, local search marketing services and SEO specialists must evolve with it. Google’s Penguin and Panda updates, along with other changes in its search algorithm, have sought to put an end to the relevance of unnatural links and sparse content.

With the explosion of social media and locally targeted search results, Google is trending towards including human interest as a ranking factor in its algorithm. What is the secret to boosting the usage of your website and gaining naturally created links in a human interest-driven Google results environment? The answer, as it has been for some time, is content. The creation of engaging, quality content is the key to attracting and keeping human interest.

Understanding the quality of your content

There are factors that will help you better understand the engaging quality of your content.
  • Authorship — With authorship, you can establish trust that you or your website are a trusted authority in your niche.
  • Social media — Are people posting and tweeting about your content to share it with others? If it is quality content, people will talk about it.
  • Links — If other websites and pages are naturally linking to your content, then that is a good sign that it is considered to be of value.
  • Bounce rate — If people are landing on your content and immediately leaving, then that is a good sign that your content is of little use to those visitors, or of low quality.
Page use: A good measure of human interest

Google is getting better and better at determining the human experience on a Web page. Google’s position for ranking has always been that if the Web page is considered of value to them, then it will be of value to humans; and conversely, if the page is considered of value by humans, then it will be of value by Google. If the content on your website and pages is considered to be of value by both humans and Google, your page will rank very well. Real, human, on-page usage is a realm into which Google has begun to venture as part of their trend towards using human interest in your content as a ranking factor.

If you listen, Google will help determine what is quality content

Many people try to “beat” Google. The path to real success on Google is to “listen” to what Google is telling you to do and do it. Currently, Google is saying that quality, engaging content is a major factor in ranking well. To improve the quality and human interest in your content, you should build author rank, measure social signals surrounding your content, measure traffic on your Web pages, and measure quantity and quality of comments. By themselves, these are not major ranking factors for Google, but together, they can greatly enhance the credibility, authority and quality of your content in Google’s eyes.

The main thing to focus on, whether you are looking at local search marketing services or implementing a large SEO strategy, is the creation of quality, engaging content. Google is getting better and better at recognizing what is truly quality content and what has been artificially elevated through shortcuts and black hat tactics. Google wants the quality of your content to be recognized and shared naturally, because of human interest in what you are creating.