Do you want to know the next big thing from Google? Buy the new book, The New Digital Age, coming from Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, the director of Google Ideas. This book talks about the future, both physical and digital, and discusses the promises they bring the world.
From the Wall Street article on the book some interesting items were outlined.
Will we be able to have anonymity? Not likely in the future, cyber union of countries where censorship and monitoring is the standard will swamp tech companies with privacy, security and user protection concerns, and cyber war will prevail. In fact just this week, cyber security topped terrorism as the highest threat reported by the US defense department.
But one of the most interesting concepts from the book is “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”
The significance of that statement is if you are unknown to Google, you are irrelevant. To say the least, this is interesting, but for companies that want to continue to rank high, this will be extremely important.
Base on these statements the “<a href=”[profile_url]?rel=author”>Google</a>” may be a very important attribute in future Google algorithms. In fact early implementation may already be taking place. Information on the web will be tied to your online profile. So, content attributed to valid online profiles will rank higher than content, which does not have these attributions.
This means you should start building your author authority now!
How Bing and Yahoo will react to this is unknown, however social ranking will have to be addressed and while these organizations may not like the standard, it is here. As Google implements the standard it will also most likely drive adoption of this concept across the entire search ecosystem. Since Bing has direct feed access to the Facebook cosmos, a true wild west divergence may begin to develop as the social media ranking come into play. I am not sure where this leads, but careful tracking of this divergence (if it occurs) will be mandatory for the success of any companies online marketing efforts.
So what will get measured.
There are relatively reasonable items for Google to grab, Facebook likes on a piece of content, tweets and retweets, and Google + citations. Heck we all wear those statistics right on the articles as badges of honor. Google can simply grab them.
There are also secondary items that are relatively easy for Google, things like, the speed at which those numbers are growing, how many discussions are going on related to the content and how long it lasts, i.e. does it have legs. What other authorities are referencing your article
But for those of us who are concerned with rankings one of the key issues I see coming is Who owns the authority is it my company or me.
This probably means that companies will be investing in developing internal people with authority rankings. Processes, procedures and contracts will begin to develop around the authority and who owns it. Does an employee that has developed a high authority through investments by companies have the right to take that authority and take it to a competitor?
So if anyone felt online marketing and search engine ranking was complex now, stand by the future is online, and for you to succeed make sure you have people either internal or on your team that are keeping track of these trends and keeping you ahead of the curve.