About this iReport
  • Not verified by CNN

  • Click to view JohnDeck's profile
    Posted April 4, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Tech talk

    More from JohnDeck

    Little Discussed Factor Greatly Impacts Which Web Content Shows Up In Google Search Results

    When someone searches on a subject, Google (and the other search engines) will deliver results based on which content their algorithms determine is the most relevant for the search phrase. When there is not a lot of good content for a subject the search results may remain the same over an extended period. If there is a lot of good content the results may change, sometimes almost daily. In some search results you will actually see both situations going on. Take pretty much any medical subject; you will see the Mayo Clinic site and other medical authority sites in the top results while other information below changes over time.

    Example: At the time of this article, for the Google search ‘coolest marketer in Sacramento’ the top results have remained the same for well over a year. Yet the remaining results on the page have changed frequently. While there is a fair amount of content for the search phrase, none of that additional content has been deemed by Google as more relevant than the first results. This has been the case since about November 2012. A side note: one of the top results is a video on YouTube and Google is believed to give YouTube videos more weight in search results.

    Sometimes to influence the results for a search phrase may be as simple as generating better, more relevant content than what is currently being shown. Such was the case in the example above. When this happens, it indicates there is basically little real competition for good content on the subject.

    When there is a lot of competing content for a subject (especially if it is good quality as rated by the search engines), it may take significant effort to produce content that will show in search results displacing what is already there. For some subjects like medical, it can be a daunting task.

    What does this mean?

    In subject areas where there is little content competition, it doesn't take a much effort to influence the search results with good content.

    In subject areas with a lot of competition, not only can it take a lot more work to generate good content, but that work may need to be sustained over an extended period of time.

    How to determine how competitive a subject is? The extremes, very low competition and very high competition are generally pretty obvious (think consumer electronics for a competitive market). For subjects in between, the level of competition can be estimated. But to really know can only be determined by generating content for the subject and seeing if and how the search results change.

    Another point worth noting: The search engine algorithms use many factors in selecting which content to show. An important factor is the authority ranking of the site the content is on. Authority ranking is easier to illustrate by example. The Mayo Clinic site is recognized as an authority site for medical information. An article on arthritis on the Mayo Clinic site would more likely show up in search results than a similar ‘quality’ article by an independent blogger; such is the authority of the Mayo Clinic site.

    “In summary, it is still all about creating good quality content that the search engine will show in search results regardless how competitive the subject” concludes online media strategist, John Deck
    Add your Story Add your Story