Content Marketing Blog

Google’s Knowledge Based Trust rewards accurate, fact-based content

Google could soon be crawling your blog and landing page content to check the number and accuracy of the facts you’ve used.

Researchers at Google released a report recently detailing work that could lead to changes in how the company crawls and indexes web pages, with weightier, fact-driven content potentially gaining an advantage.

The Knowledge Based Trust (KBT) method will sift through website content, identify the facts and determine whether those facts are true or false by checking them against information in Google’s Knowledge Vault.

“We propose a new approach that relies on… the correctness of factual information provided by the source,” the report’s authors said. “A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy.”

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Pages that have lots of incorrect claims face the risk of losing search rankings. However, the report did clarify that this method would not replace other ranking signals, such as inbound links, domain authority and the various on-page factors that influence search results, but would instead work alongside them.

Tapping into Google’s Knowledge Vault

Users will already have seen Google’s Knowledge Graph, which displays relevant facts alongside some search results. If you search for a well-known person or a major business you’ll see some basic biographical information, useful links and related searches on the right-hand side of the page, in some cases, answering your query without you needing to click on any of the search results.

As well as driving features like Knowledge Graph, Google’s vast collection of facts could soon have an impact on where your pages rank in search.

The report’s authors said their method could “reliably compute the true trustworthiness levels of the sources” on a sample of 119 million web pages, which were checked against the 2.8 billion facts in Google’s Knowledge Vault. “Manual evaluation of a subset of the results confirms the effectiveness of the method,” they added.

KBT could be an important new quality signal

Google’s search algorithm is thought to use around 200 ranking signals. Through its regular updates, the company seeks to discourage short-term tactics aimed at gaming the system and reward sites that create original and useful content.

The idea of using Google’s vast store of facts to assess the value of a piece of content is part of this ongoing effort to find new ways to measure quality.

As more details emerge about this idea of Knowledge Based Trust (KBT) it will be interesting to see how content marketers adjust their tactics. Just as the Hummingbird algorithm spawned millions of headlines posing questions when it was launched at the end of 2013, we could see content jam-packed with statistics in an effort to tap this new signal.

The best advice with any algorithm update is to keep it natural. Rather than thinking too much about what Google wants, you should focus on the human beings reading your content. Properly-researched articles, with facts attributed to reliable sources make for a better user experience, so you should do it anyway.

Posted by Dylan Brown