What is the impact of the SearchWiki on SEO?
- November 24, 2008
- by Ian McIntosh
After hearing of the release, and reading the theory here I was initially concerned regarding the extent to which Google will use this data. Google have come out and said that user feedback data gathered will have no impact on current rankings, but they will not rule the impact it could have on future rankings. So what can we take from this?
Firstly, Google would not be able to use the data they have just started to collect as an algorithmic factor for several reasons. Any algorithm factor is almost certainly heavily scrutinised by statisticians, ran through impact models and very heavily tested before it gets anywhere near being included in the ranking algorithm. To say that SearchWiki data is not a ranking factor now is a bit of a no brainer, but this is likely to be simply because the Google engineers and statisticians do not yet have enough data to work with.
The fact that Google have not come out and openly said that this data will never be used as a ranking factor can only be taken one way. Google want to use this data in the future to form part of the “user feedback” section of the algorithm, working the data alongside click through rates, bounce rates and analytics data they already have in plentiful supply. Whether Google do use this data or not will depend on many factors. Will there be a significant enough number of active SearchWiki’ers? Will SearchWiki data correlate with existing user feedback data? Are any trends that they find significant enough to be blanketed across all keywords?
So how will this impact SEO in the future? Very little, if at all – and this assumes that Google do find the feedback data valuable enough to include it as part of the algorithm. Google have already been taking user feedback into consideration when ranking result pages for some time, so if your site was performing well previously, it is obviously going down well with users and shall continue to do so. The SEO fundamentals remain the same, making sure your webpage is relevant enough to the users search query as possible.