Google Knowledge Vault: What You Need to Know

August 20, 2015 Monika Jansen

Google Knowledge Vault

Just when you thought you had a handle on the basics of search engine optimization, or SEO, Google may be about to throw us all a curveball. That curveball is called the Google Knowledge Vault.

Let me back up a bit. Right now, one of the basic building blocks of a solid SEO strategy involves link building. When a trusted and popular website links to your company’s website, Google’s algorithms immediately trust your website even more – and you get a boost in search rankings. The more quality links to your website, the better.

However, all the back linking may soon become a thing of the past, so here’s what you need to know:

Google’s Hummingbird update signaled the first big shift towards the Knowledge Vault.

When Google introduced its Hummingbird algorithm update, it almost felt like the SEO world got turned upside down. Instead of just indexing keywords and meta tags and looking at the quality of back links, Google’s algorithms were now “reading” content and looking for relevant, high-quality information to create search results. This is when content marketing became super important.

Backlinks are now being manipulated.

If you may remember, Hummingbird was developed in response to the gaming of the keyword system. Unscrupulous companies were keyword-stuffing websites so they’d rank high in search results, whether or not they were relevant to a search. Now that’s happening with backlinks.

Backlinked-stuffed websites are showing up with more regularity, which means we’re once again getting crappy search results. Popular websites with a lot of backlinks and traffic are pushing out relevant sources of information.

Enter the Google Knowledge Vault.

This new algorithm will throw out the popularity system in favor of an objective look at the “factual accuracy” of information on a webpage. In short, it will tally the number of incorrect facts on a page to arrive at a Knowledge-Based Trust score (you can read more about it here).

Your content will be compared to the information in the Vault.

Google’s Knowledge Vault will take all the data on the Internet, push it through some super fancy and super advanced machine learning exercises, and rank the accuracy and relevance of the information. The information on your website will then be compared to what is in the Knowledge Vault.

So, the question is: Is this good, or is this bad? I don’t know. No official changes have been made to Google’s algorithms yet, but it’s always good to know what may be ahead and prepare in advance (aka, make sure your website isn’t crammed full of lies!).

What do you think about the Google Knowledge Vault? Good? Bad? Scary?

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Author information

Monika Jansen

Monika Jansen

Monika Jansen is a freelance copywriter and editor who helps with companies of all shapes on sizes kick their content up to the next level. You can find her online at

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