Matt Cutts, head of Google’s WebSpam team gave the morning keynote at Pubcon Vegas 2013. Thousands of marketers gathered to hear the dictates of Google’s top-ranking voice on search quality to glean the latest trends in search engine optimization.
The underlying principles in Google’s strategy for web governance remains unchanged, yet refined, as Google rolls out continuous updates to its algorithm of ranking factors. As Google refines their updates they are continually rewarding original content, positive social signals, and a well connect online brand strategy.
Authorship Goes Social
Cutts talked about how the roll out of Google authorship opened the door to anyone that can implement a Google author tag. In the coming months Google will finish up a plan to look at social factors around google authorship and award higher priority to author’s that are truly authoritative on a topic and that have published social conversations on that topic.
Tighter scrutiny on schema data
Much like authorship, Google has given an open door to sites that can quickly implement schema data to dominate rankings. When the “rich snippets program” was first rolled out by Google, sites were approved on a case by case basis. Shortly after, Google opened inclusion of rich snippets into the SERPs to any and all that have proper schema markup.
According to Cutts, Google will now begin to filter those results by the overall quality of the site and its content.
Google Cares… about mobile
Cutts sited the growing use of mobile devices on Google properties. Youtube last year peaked at over 40% usage on mobile platforms. In order to simplify browsing and data input, Google will begin to look closer at sites that are using the requestAutocomplete() tag on their html forms which will enable users to move through information submission form quick on mobile and desktop devices.
Google will be rolling out support for requestAutocomplete() in future versions of its Chrome browser.