Trust Everybody … But Cut the Cards! - Finley Peter Dunne

In Part I of this series, we examined 8 Steps to Effective Volume. In Part II we explored 8 Steps to Effective Velocity and in Part III we explored 8 Steps to Effective Variety. In each of those posts, we traveled through 8 dimensions of Winning the New Game of Semantic Search, as outlined in David Amerland’s book Google Semantic Search.

Let’s start part IV of this series by earning some trust. I had to look up the definition of Veracity! Trust me; it’s not a word I use in every day conversation. How about you?

What exactly is Veracity in the New Game of Semantic Search? With semantic search, Google provides an implied vote of trust when you search the web. In addition to being a search engine, it is now a verification engine. While that is very comforting (perhaps) for all of us as searchers, what are the implications for all of us as publishers of content?

Content Veracity

Linking to the original source of information on website pages you create increases the value of your pages. It also increases the trustworthiness of your pages and provides a boost for your own search ranking. What does that mean for your web publishing activities? Quite simply, your web pages don’t exist in a vacuum; they exist in the endless World Wide Web. The burden is you need to do your homework and link to reputable sources across the web. The opportunity is your willingness to do that work increases your own credibility and trustworthiness. The practical implications aren’t as daunting as they may seem. While you may need to search and surf while you are writing to add those elements of credibility, you can also powerfully utilize what you find to inspire even more impactful writing.

Social Media Profile Veracity

The function of Google Authorship (see how easy that was to link to the source) is enabled by the ability of semantic search to map relational connections across the web. This function within the Google + network is used to verify real people and real brands are publishing their content. It’s a great way for you to both claim ownership of your content and to enhance the trust that is so vital both in search and for your visitors.

Social Interaction Veracity

What’s a Like or a +1 worth? What is your connection really saying when they make that click? Google’s perspective is they just aren’t sure, so they just can’t accept it as a strong signal. Just in case you were planning on buying thousands of “likes” … don’t! Google view shares and comments far differently. They consider those actions as much stronger social signals with the corresponding impact on search ranking. Bottom line: building trust through social interaction just isn’t enough, although the lack of it is certainly a negative signal. Let’s move on to social engagement.

Social Engagement Veracity

We have arrived where the rubber meets the road. If you have re-mark-able content, a strong social media presence and interaction with your posts, you are well positioned to win the engagement game. You could also fall short in any of those areas and need to go back to the beginning. You simply have to compel, by the quality of your relevant content, to have your visitors engage with your content. Their comments and mentions cannot be purchased, they can only be earned. No one suggested Winning the Game of Semantic Search would be easy. You have to get in the game and play hard and then get better faster. The only alternative is to go home.

Website Traffic Veracity

As a person and business we all trust, you would never even think of this. But some of those people who you always want to make sure you cut the cards with actually used technology to artificially drive traffic to their websites. That approach hasn’t worked for quite some time, so don’t waste any of your valuable time on it. What works is producing re-mark-able content that attracts visitors. Do that instead.

Mentions Veracity

There is opportunity to fake it and gain fabricated mentions. The opportunity is fleeting and there are consequences. Just don’t bother. Re-mark-able, amazing content. Content that gets noticed. Content that gets comments. Content that gets mentioned with legitimate co-citation. That’s the path that earns trust – from Google and your visitors.

Links Veracity

Real, genuine links are what Google is looking for. Link to others and have them link to you at your own risk. Links are still important in the new game of semantic search. Guest blogging is one great way to earn trust in your links. Once again, you earn them, you don’t buy them.

User-Generated Content Veracity

Once again, the Holy Grail consists of genuine comments on your website about your content. Not fabricated comments from you or your Mom, but real visitors who have something real to add to the conversation. The more the merrier, but they are only going to comment on your great content! As we wrap up this post on 8 steps to effective veracity, let us leave you with these few thoughts.

  • Be authentic
  • Be transparent
  • Work hard to create re-mark-able content
  • Earn engagement from your social network
  • It’s the only path to trust that works
  • You CAN do it!
  • Get started now!

This is Part IV of IV How to Win the New Game of Semantic Search - 8 Steps to Effective Veracity. Please also read Part I: 8 Steps to Effective VolumePart II: 8 Steps to Effective Velocity and Part III: 8 Steps to Effective Variety. We highly recommend David Amerland’s Google Semantic Search, but please be prepared to dive deeply into the material; it is not a casual read. We hope you have found our Winning the New Game of Semantic Search series helpful for your business.

About the Author(s)

Bill Merrow

Bill has built and managed a 40,000 person sales force and generated over $500,000,000 in sales through direct mail, as well as consulted with thousands of companies ranging from startups to Fortune 100’s. He has earned a BA in Accounting and an MA in Behavioral Science. | LinkedIn | @synergysm | More from Bill

Co-Founder & Principal, Synergy Sales and Marketing