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3 New Upcoming SEO Wildcards You Should Know About

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  • If you're into optimizing your content for the search engines, especially in Google, then there are three new upcoming SEO Wildcards you should prepare your site for ASAP.

    When your livelihood depends upon obtaining and maintaining top first page rankings in the search engines, you try extra hard to keep your eyes peeled for any major changes coming down the pipeline. Recently, my eyes, ears and brain have been getting a thorough workout. Things in the SEO world have really been zipping along at a Formula One pace and no, we are not talking about the recent Google Panda Update and its aftershocks.

    But yes, we are talking about Google and the way Google has started to rank pages in its all important index.

    Actually, there are three significant Wildcards in the works, which may have an enormous influence on your site and your content's rankings within Google. How much influence each one of these new ranking signals or factors will have, remains to be seen. However, I believe, over time, these new SEO Wildcards will play an ever increasing role in Google's ranking Algorithm, the complex mathematical formula Google uses to rank content on the web.

    These new ranking factors could even lessen the importance of "backlinks" as we know them today, and pave the way for Google to construct "in-house" data collection and ranking systems, which can be more effectively managed, especially in regards to spam and abuse. Even moving further away from PageRank and backlinks in the process and making these factors somewhat obsolete. Regardless, you should now be preparing your site and content for these three new SEO wildcards.

    1. Google +1 Button - This is Google's new way to let web users bookmark and vote for content they "like, agree with, or want to recommend" to their friends and colleagues. This is very similar to the Facebook "like" button and Google has already stated this new +1 Button will be a ranking signal or factor. As in the statement from Google's David Byttow: "We'll also start to look at +1's as one of the many signals we use to determine a page's relevance and ranking, including social signals from other services. For +1's, as with any new ranking signal, we'll be starting carefully and learning how those signals affect search quality over time."

    How will the Google +1 Button work?

    In order for marketers and webmasters to have the button appear on their sites, they only have to place a bit of java script supplied by Google on their pages. Web surfers will have to be logged into a Google account for the button to work. After a surfer has clicked the button, a link is created in or under the +1's tab in their Google Profile. Google, of course, has access to all these clicks and can easily track the number of clicks your content receives and act accordingly.

    For now, this button is supported in 44 languages and will appear in Product Search, Blogger Blogs, Android Market and on YouTube. While everyone will see the aggregate annotations, only those who are logged in will be able to view the personalized annotations from their own contacts in Google Chat, Google Contacts, Gmail, Google Reader and Google Buzz.

    I believe the Google +1 Button will gradually replace Google Buzz on most websites. If it becomes extremely popular, this button could become a valuable ranking tool for Google. Of course, like all ranking factors, it will be open to abuse but since this will be an "in-house" system, Google may be better able to filter the data and make better ranking decisions. Regardless of how all this plays out, this is a new ranking Wildcard you should not ignore. (To learn exactly how this button works go here:


    2. Google Chrome Browser - Google has stated that they will use the data and surfing information it receives from the Chrome Browser in their search results. According to Google, there are now 160+ million people using this browser on the web. This usage must produce an enormous amount of valuable surfing data to Google and let them get a much better picture of how quality content on the web performs. And all this surfing data will make it easier for Google to find those quality pages and sites to list in their index.

    Unfortunately, from an SEO standpoint, there is not much webmasters can do to optimize for this new "Chrome Browser" ranking factor. Except, of course, webmasters must make doubly sure their content or site displays properly in this browser. In other words, make sure your content is compatible with the Chrome Browser and loads exactly as you want it to load.

    In the future, as this browser becomes more popular, I believe it will be one of the top ranking factors. Or rather, compiled data and surfing habits of millions of surfers will largely determine the value of your content. Link buying and spamming could become ancient relics of a by-gone era... well, lets not get too carried away. Just say, the Chrome Browser presents one of the best opportunities for Google to get it right.

    3. Authorship Markup - Google has now stated that it is supporting "authorship markup" or the "author" attribute tag in their search engine. While this is quite a recent development and the implications for how this factor will play out are unknown. Google says it is a way to connect authors with their content on the web. As posted by Othar Hansson, a software engineer at Google, "The markup uses existing standards such as HTML5 (rel="author") and XFN (rel="me") to enable search engines and other web services to identify works by the same author across the web." (To learn exactly how the "author" tag works visit Google's help page here:

    http://support.google.com/ webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl =en&answer=1229920

    Could this mean that Google will place an "authority" value on web writers, the same as they now do for "authority" sites? Actually, Google may have been doing this for some time, but now they are making it formal. If so, this could be a real game-changer, especially if Google ranks content by a certain well established quality author higher in their index than a lesser known author - regardless of where his or her content is displayed.

    I can envision a whole legion of webmasters scrambling to place an "author page" on their sites, listing out all their background bio info, all their links to the different social networking sites such as Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook... and you can even link to your other sites and articles. This could have a huge impact on content scraping and the downright theft of your content. If Google can tag your "verified" content as yours and rank it accordingly, that would be a good thing. However, this is not an ideal world and now authors have to really worry about unscrupulous folks stealing not only their content, but their names as well. Ouch, this could be a massive headache for web authors who have established a strong presence on the web. Lets just pray real hard that Google gets this one right.

    So there you have it, three SEO Wildcards which will probably affect your Google rankings now and in the future. Like every thing to do with SEO, having all your ducks in a row does help, especially in those close keyword battles. There's no reason not to prepare and optimize your content and site for the +1 Button, the Chrome Browser and the Authorship Markup. All three will help you help Google to place your content in the top spot in their all important index. After all, that's where it belongs, right?

    The author is a full time online affiliate marketer who operates numerous niche sites, as well as two sites on Internet Marketing. If you want to discover more about this topic simply download some Free Marketing Courses. You can find the author's page here: Copyright 2011.

    Related links: Google +1 Button - New Ranking Tool You Can't Ignore

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