Another recent thread here http://forums.seochat.com/jackets-only-89/pet-peeves-463434.html morphed into the age old debate of content against links is king… Personally I think this argument is now of little relevance to Google SERPs these days…..
To me SERPs are driven by relevance and trust. Not content or links. What SE/Goolge is trying to do is return the most relevant results to a given query and when relevance levels are similar it more or less ranks pages in order of trust.
If this is true what every webmaster should be pursuing is really how do I make my site more relevant to search queries I wish to rank for and how do I make my site more trusted… I think this is now what we are seeing with recent Google changes.
Google is now relying less on offsite factors or more specifically is reducing the generic benefit of links in favor of increased targeting of specific benefit ie relevance. This translates into link benefit being much greater if the link goes to the page which is relevant to the search. Google ability to identify spam content has now reached a stage where a website is to a much greater degree being seen as a collection of individual books rather than a library. Google is trying to send people to the book they are seeking rather than just sending them to the doorway of the library is my view.
I think many people have gotten penguin changes very wrong. They think the links to their site have been devalued/penalized and that is why their rankings have fallen…. My view is this is not really the case… It is more that links to the ‘library door’ are not helping the ‘book’ rank… Thus having links to a home page are not really helping internal pages rank any longer (or helping very much). Google is considering relevance before trust. If others internal pages are viewed as being of more relevance then all the generalized site trust in the world is not really going to help a site rank an internal page (or help as much as it used to)…
The bottom line then is how do you make the internal pages more relevant to the search. Then my view is really multifaceted but largely tied around a) Getting themed/geo relevant links to the pages a site wishes to rank for a search term b) Determining how to make on page content more relevant to the search phrase/type you wish to rank for ie transactional content versus informational content, Geo relevant content as opposed to theme relevant content, semantic related content rather than simply direct matches….
Links are of lesser importance than they were…. Targeted relevance’s are the name of the game to website owners these days…….
Penguin and Panda are really Google’s way of telling us rankings are now black and white… Be relevant if you want to rank….
Woops long thread….