Google Stack Ranking is actually shorthand for Google entity authority stacking which in plain language is SEO using your Google Drive and sharing your documents freely on as many as possible of the Google Apps (word processor, presentation app, calendar, spreadsheet etc) as possible. These are all apps which Google provides for free (initially – with set usage limits) and with which you can conveniently store all your files in the Cloud (on your Google Drive). In fact, it’s pretty much what a bricks and mortar business user would do perfectly naturally when they use Google’s tools to the fullest. This includes creating a personal or business Gmail Account, a Google My Business (GMB), their Google Calendar for appointments etc completely naturally. Their business also has a premises (or operates from a geographic location), so they claim their Google Maps location, and all non-sensitive files about the business are included and shared on their G-Drive. Everything is linked together, verified, and openly visible to Google. Naturally, “Big-G” is able to keep a close eye on every move a Google stack business makes. It’s safe to assume that such a high level of transparency of a business, is what gives them the confidence to list genuine business sites with authority. Read on for our in-depth analysis of what we think this means:
On This Page
- Google Authority Stacking
- What Is A Google Stack?
- Understanding the Google Marketing Stack
- Google Stacking Risks
- Google Stack Ranking and your Contract with Google LLC
- The Google Technology Stack
- What Is An RYS Drive Stack?
- Why Do You Need Google Drive Stack Services?
- How Reliable are Google’s Apps Services?
- Do I Get A New Google Account With My Stack?
Google Authority Stacking
We like it when this is referred to as “authority stacking”. So, what is Google Authority stacking? OK. At one level you might say that it’s an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy, which we have seen described as “leveraging google properties (entities) in the hope of improving rankings using each property’s “high-authority-status”. The reality seems to be that in the eyes of Google if a person or business is using their software in the manner intended, sending emails, creating word-processor documents, doing calculations, and on spreadsheets, making appointments, taking and sharing notes, sharing downloads, etc., it’s highly likely that the business is trustworthy. It’s not going to be a “fly-by-night” spamming operation, or “cloak and dagger” hacking campaign etc., which pops-up overnight and will disappear just as quickly to avoid prosecution.
So, is it a good idea to do this for SEO purposes? The truth is nobody knows for sure whether this is a safe thing to do because Google isn’t exactly open about how they assess and calculate “trust” and “authority”. And, it is “authority” in the eyes of Google which counts here, not “Search Engine Optimisation”, although that’s not to say that an SEO’s aim of optimising the Google Stack Ranking of a client’s website isn’t the ultimate goal.
The term used is “stacking” because when the effect was first discovered by SEO’s as a way to leverage the power of Google entities (Google apps, webspace, web sites, cloud storage, geo-related services, blogs etc) they linked from one app to the next. They really just crudely experimented with passing Google’s “authority” from Google site to site, and they found that when done that way “Google authority” was increasing all the time as the “link- juice” moved ever upward through their silos until reaching the businesses “money website” or sales video.
What Is A Google Stack?
If a business does not use for Google apps, or a Google Drive to store their files, (and most won’t as users of Microsoft office, or the Apple office software suite etc.) it seems reasonable to also show Google the workings of that business by creating a Google Authority Stack. By seeing the natural workflow taking place as evidenced by real files produced within the business it is assumed that Google is able to attribute the trust and authority to businesses and their web presence. A degree of trust that such a company would naturally accrue by using Google products (while within these products Google is still assumed to be doing his anonymously/ within GDPR (privacy law requirements)) – for example, via AI systems looking at public-shared documents only.
That’s where so-called “stacking” started and is still, in essence, the synchronising of a range of file types with Google drive with natural inter-linking. However, it was soon realised that when shared publically Google competitor services could be used to perform the same role, including publicly shared files on the likes of Dropbox and Github.
It has long been the primary function of marketing to spread the word about a company as widely as possible. An early example, and still relevant today, is the use of Press Releases, for example, to offer journalists the information they need to write stories for their newspapers, magazines, current affairs programmes etc. SEO’s may lay claim to instigating the publication of company news and articles as blog posts to Blogger, WordPress and Zendesk but they are simply perpetuating a long-standing tradition within the modern media. So, good “authority stacking” practice can seem to be no more than an extension of the ancient art of “spreading the word as far and widely as possible”.
Understanding the Google Marketing Stack
Some marketing agencies offer stacking services, but is it safe to use this service?
Nobody can state categorically either it is safe or unsafe. It might be seen as building backlinks by Google, and as such, that would be against their Terms of Service (TOS) for website inclusion in their SERP (Search Engine Ranking Page) listings. Conversely, the Google TOS is clearly an unreasonable request and in many countries, the test of “reasonableness” is a common law right, a valid defence against non-compliance, and embedded in the legal system. In their defence, however, it is arguable that they are within their rights to apply whatever terms they wish to their TOS. There are other Search Engines and in theory, at least, businesses can “take or leave it” and go elsewhere. Unfortunately, the problem for businesses is that Google has done such a good job of their Search Engine and it has become such a dominant force, that going elsewhere is unlikely to allow them anything like the level of exposure that Google Stack Ranking in the Google SERPS would bring.
Surely, Google would not seriously complain about, or act against, any bonafide organisation which issues a Press Release, at the same time including a link back to their website? Even before the internet, hand-outs at Press Announcements would without-fail always include contact details for readers to find out more. Typically, when a business engages a marketing company to provide a stacking service. The marketing company creates one, or more, separate websites with a combination of different Google-owned entities stacked in. Their clients’ desired keywords are mentioned tactically. Essentially different Google properties are embedded on one or more free Google sites with all of them having a central hub and all are hyperlinked internally. Marketing companies offering such services often show evidence of previous clients showing those clients to have benefited with multiple Page-1 Google SERP rankings. These are usually for, various, low to medium competition keywords.
Few, if any, reputable marketers would reasonably claim that Google stacks are any more than a small but important part of an overall marketing strategy. But, when used with other acceptable SEO efforts stacking can be worthwhile. In particular, in the opinion of the author, when done sensibly it does work for local businesses especially for trades which provide services in a fairly restricted geographical area.
We hope you now have a general understanding of the background to the risk landscape relating to the creation of a Google marketing stack and how stacking might benefit your business. Also, never forget that Google’s decision will be final if they judge that your stack contravenes their TOS. Should they do so they would be quite likely to remove all your business’ SERP listings? Little or no warning would be given to allow enough time for the worst effects on the business to be ameliorated.
Google Stacking Risks
The act of creating a Google stack creates links from Google properties such as Google Sites, Google Drive and Google Docs to client websites and other online properties. That is against the Google TOS because for registration eligibility you are required to desist from making backlinks as the web property owner or causing others to create links on your behalf. For Google’s purposes, it is clear that doing so is likely to distort backlink frequency in your favour if you create multiple backlinks, especially if you incentivise backlinking to your site in any way.
Stacked links would be easy for Google to find, and therefore you should consider Google stacking as a strategy, but only if you are open to the presence of risk. It’s hard to understand how simply creating diverse documents and media using Google entities could be against any rules – but Google may not agree.
In the real world (Google’s rules apart), using Google Sites to build a free website paid for by Google, and at the same time embedding all the elements and drive folders is simply an action it makes sense to do (i.e. stacking). Does Google really think that astute small businesses, who are already at a disadvantage against the big multinationals with their enormous online budgets, can afford not to use every opportunity to raise their online presence?
In fact, it would arguably be a discriminatory action for Google to penalise users for doing exactly what they want them to do, namely to use their apps freely – and not the apps of their competitors, thus allowing Google’s influence and presence on the internet to become even more dominant?
Those that are willing to chance a Google de-listing are using stacking in their marketing plans. There is no hiding from Google’s inspection when they do this – using Google Analytics means you open the whole site to their full view. In fact, most stackers ensure that all their elements are publicly accessible via shared documents and wait for the full effect to appear in 6 to 8 weeks after posting the article (that delay period is our estimate of the average according to opinions we have seen).
Conclusion: We don’t know if stack creation actions will result in a negative response from Google. Use it at your own risk.
Google Stack Ranking and Your Contract with Google LLC
When setting up an account on any number of Google services, did you look at the small print? By signing up you are accepted that Google services are made available to you by a named Google company with which you entered into a contractual relationship for this purpose. For those in the US, it is Google LLC. For US citizens you also accept that the contract you enter will be “Organized under the law of US state Delaware and operated under the law of the United States”. Other Google entities apply according to location.
It is easy to forget that Google services are provided to businesses and individuals on the basis of a contract. Not as a benevolent act by Google. Your rights are governed by their Contracts and how they implement them, as long as their conditions are reasonable. And, even that would vary according to the nation/ state you live in. Consider their one-time motto ” Don’t be evil“, in this light.
The Google Technology Stack
In the IT industry, Google’s ever-rising list software apps are referred to as the “Google Technology Stack”. In fact, a large part of what makes Google such an amazing engine of innovation is its internal technology stack. These amount to a set of powerful proprietary technologies that makes it easy for Google developers to generate and process enormous quantities of data. But, where do you think that data comes from? It comes from the users of Google apps of course. Never forget that by participating in using Google apps you are also contributing to their dominance in data acquisition.
It cannot be denied that Google currently reigns supreme when it comes to marketing stacks and startup companies, it’s Google’s world, and almost all other technology providers are just living in it. If you cannot beat them many people would say “let’s join them”, and that is part of what makes Google stacks so attractive that it is tempting to ignore the risk of de-listing and membership and do some Google Stack Ranking digital marketing.
What Is An RYS Drive Stack?
A group called Semantic Mastery offers a service in which they build an RYS Drive Stack for their clients. In their own words taken from their website:
“Bradley, co-founder of Semantic Mastery, likes to show, his initial RYS Stack from years ago is still powering his ranking results for “Virginia SEO [redacted]”!”
“An RYS Google Stack combines several different components of the Google ecosystem (like Google Drive, Google Sites, and more) that are then interconnected in various ways to provide powerful results to the property of your choosing.”
Why Do You Need Google Drive Stack Services?
At the most basic level, many would say that businesses clearly need to use the best services available online to run healthy businesses efficiently. There are many competitors which also offer cloud data storage. So, how does Google Drive stack up against the cloud competition? Web reports appear to agree that Google’s cloud-based document and storage solution is priced aggressively. It is no surprise that it is a natural winner, boasting as it does to have “the-best-in-class” integration with other Google services — including Google docs.
To answer this question from another level, this time the perspective of IT professionals, we refer to stack services provider “Stackdriver”. They say that “Stackdriver logging allows you to store, search, analyze, monitor, and alert on log data and events from Google Cloud Platform and aws. This appears to be a little different from the previous Google Stack Ranking example given.
Google Stackdriver is natively integrated with Google cloud platform and hosted on Google infrastructure, but the monitoring capabilities can also be used for applications and virtual machines (VMS) that run on Amazon Web Services elastic compute cloud (AWS eC2).
How Reliable are Google’s Apps Services?
The low-risk way to take advantage in a completely “white-hat” manner of the trust and authority benefits which are available to users of Google’s services for businesses is to quite simply adopt a business strategy of the fullest use of Google’s online services right across the business. encourage all staff to place all non-sensitive business documents on the company G-Drive as public-shared documents as they are produced. Use Google web space for your website and through doing that naturally link between all these properties. However, before doing that, the question arises of just how reliable are Google’s services.
We would assume that their uptime is second to none, and that seems to be borne out by the lack of negative comments we found online. We did see a comment that at its peak, Downdetector received over 2,800 reports from users having trouble with the Google suite of services.
“For about two hours back in March (year not available), Google and its main services, such as Gmail, Google Docs, and YouTube were down for US East Coast users.”
If that’s the worst that has occurred I think it is safe to say here that Google’s Apps Services are reliable!
Do I Get A New Google Account to Use in My Google Stack Ranking?
We noticed this question being asked not of a Google Stack Ranking service provider, but of an emulator with which to play android games on PSs. But, given the nature of authority stack ranking, we don’t see why a new Google Account would be needed.
This query is being made by online game players and the context is different from authority stacking as discussed in this article. It appears to be about introducing an added App Centre to a Google Account which personalizes game suggestions, an accounting system, chat, new keymapping interface, and “multi-instance”. We gather that “multi-instance” allows users to launch multiple stacks windows using either the same or different Google Play account.
The advice given seems to be, like ours, that it is preferable to host the stacks in the same Google Account as the entity’s GMB.