Google, Orion, SEO & Preparing For The Future

As we noted back in our article, “Anatomy Of An Internet Search Engine” it is critically important in SEO to not only understand what specific factors the search engines are considering but also to have a very solid understanding of what they are trying to accomplish and what technologies they are employing to attain top rankings and hold them. It is this point that makes the recent purchase by Google of the Orion algorithm of key importance for SEO’s and to those trying to rank their sites highly on this important engine.

This algorithm changes the way search results are generated by comparing similar results to multiple related queries and ranking sites in part by how they rank over this multitude of phrases. An example of such a query could be:

Searched phrase: world war 2
Comparative phrases: axis, allies, adolph hitler, holocaust, etc.

What the algorithm now does is takes into consideration a site’s ability to rank for a multitude of these phrases and takes this into consideration when determining the ranking of the site for the actual query phrase.

In the article we noted above we wrote,

“For example, the overall relevancy of your website (i.e. does the majority of your content focus on a single subject) has become more important over the past year or so. Does this help the searcher? The searcher will find more content on the subject they have searched on larger sites with larger amounts of related content and thus this shift does help the searcher overall. A tactic that includes the addition of more content to your site is thus a solid one as it helps build the overall relevancy of your website and gives the visitor more and updated information at their disposal once they get there.”

This aspect of SEO becomes even more important with the introduction of this new algorithm into the ranking factors. The more pages you have the more likely you are to rank for multiple related phrases, the more likely you are to rank for the main search query targeted.

Bill Gates said of the Orion Algorithm,

“That we need to take the search way beyond how people think of it today. We believe that Orion will do that.”

And while Microsoft didn’t end up purchasing the algorithm it is clear that they know it’s value and are sure to find some way to integrate a similar technology into their own ranking systems.

What does this mean for SEO?

So what does this mean to you? This means that once again there are new factors that need to be considered when seeking to rank a site highly on the search engines for all but the least competitive phrases. SEO is about to become more intensive once again with new requirements and considerations added. We will all have to think outside the box about what other phrases may be searched to determine the relevancy of our site to our primary phrases and work to attain good rankings for those phrases as well.

This may not sound like a lot of fun but an important point to consider is this, if the phrases are deemed relevant to the search engines then they probably are. If they are in fact relevant that a visitor to your site is more likely to find the information they are looking for if that relevant content is present. Thus, this move not only improves the rankings on the search engines in that the visitor becomes more likely to find what they’re looking for when the visit your site, it also forces us to create better sites that will provide useful information to our visitors thus keeping the visitors on our sites longer and increasing our ability to steer them towards our desired “call to action”.

This purchase signifies the beginning of a new era in SEO where there are once again a slough of new factors to consider. While this algorithm will still need to go through testing and integration by Google, now is the time to start preparing your site for this change.

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