In an interesting video released by Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam, Matt answers the question on how Google separates the concept of popularity from authority.
The truth is, he answered that question quickly by saying popularity and authority are two different things. The example he gave was that porn sites are often way more popular than government or organization sites but government sites are often more authoritative than porn sites. So the two concepts are different.
Matt then explained in more detail the concept of being popular within a topic, or maybe being more authoritative within a topic. So by query or class of query, how does Google determine which site is more relevant or authoritative for a query.
Matt said that Google is working on new algorithms to do a better job at that. He said Google showing sites that “actually have some evidence that it should rank for something related to medical queries. And that is something where we can improve the quality of the algorithm even more.”
Matt is probably talking about the story we wrote named Google Authority Boost: Google’s Algorithm To Determine Which Site Is A Subject Authority.
Here is the video: