Google's experimental Knowledge Vault is building a list of billions of objectively true facts,  indicating that content marketing needs to include well-cited, provable information.

The evolution of search technology over the past decade has defined content marketing, and it looks primed to take another leap forward. Building beyond the Knowledge Graph, Google is working on a Knowledge Vault that’s even better at recording and processing information for searchers in the form of direct answers to their questions.

A report in the New Scientist outlines the development of the Vault, a system that collects and refines information from around the web. Unlike the Knowledge Graph, which is built through crowdsourcing, the Knowledge Vault is 100 percent machine-operated and involves algorithms that constantly check facts until the system is sure that they’re objectively true. According to the New Scientist, Google has accumulated 1.6 billion facts so far, and it considers 271 million of them “confident” – meaning that the system has declared a 90 percent chance that they’re true.

“This an entirely new generation of technology that’s going to result in massive changes – improvement in how people live and have fun and how they make war. This is a quantum leap,”Tom Austin, a technology analyst at Gartner in Boston, told the New Scientist.

Getting content marketing into the Knowledge Vault

The mere existence of the Vault offers insight into the direction Google is headed – and what marketers should consider moving forward.

“Behind the scenes, Google doesn’t only have public data. You and I are stored in the Knowledge Vault in the same way as Elvis Presley,” stated Fabian Suchanek, a data scientist at Télécom ParisTech, adding that it can also pull in information from Gmail, Google+ and Youtube.

  • Just the facts, ma’am: Assuming that Google is also building profiles for businesses and their executives, it could prove valuable to provide as much clear and factual information about brands as possible. So the more information that brands provide about themselves (geographic locations, hours of operation, contact info), the better.

  • Originality reigns supreme: It’s already valuable to create a profile that’s original and unique to your business. But on a web run by the Knowledge Vault, it’s even more important to make sure that you stand out by conveying a unique brand voice and stance. If Google is going to compile all this information, it’s more likely to go into the database if it offers unique value. Show your sources: Not every piece of content will be original research and firsthand reporting, but Google is clearly hunting for authoritative facts. When in doubt, link to reputable sources that contain information the search engine obviously considers reliable and trustworthy because they contain objective research.

If Google’s Knowledge Vault collects information and delivers it to users because companies can intervene, they will need to differentiate themselves with thought leadership and engagement content. These are excellent ways to separate oneself from the pack, but for now, they can’t sustain an SEO and marketing strategy To get traffic and visibility in the first place, content has to offer original, useful information – and Google’s projects seem to indicate this means objectively true facts.

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.