Following recent changes at Google, the quality of your website content has never mattered more…
Once upon a time ‘Content was King’. Now it’s an overlord. This month, Google began their 27th update to the Panda algorithm, which tweaks the way the search engine ranks websites. And, according to Google, this one is cracking down even further on poor quality content.
But what exactly is good quality content?
Google keeps their cards close to their chest when it comes to explaining exactly how their search engines work, but industry experts believe that quality of a web page is ranked on a scale of one to 9. It’s also believed that web pages aren’t only judged against a specific set of Google rules, but against the quality of similar websites, too. On top of this, it’s believed that Google’s definition of content applies to more than just words, but a website’s entire architecture of information.
So what makes a quality web page?
Google believes every web page should have a purpose. For a long time some people believed that websites with more pages took a higher priority on the search engine listings. Today, that’s not the case. Pages without purpose will be penalized by Google. By purpose Google means things like the giving of information, the sharing of images, entertainment, product sales, and file sharing.
The content of your web pages should reflect your area of expertise. So it’s not really any use sharing recipes on your company blog if you are a construction firm, for example.
You can get a good idea of how relevant your content is by measuring dwell time – that’s the amount of time a customer spends on your page. You can track dwell time though Google Analytics. It’s closely related to bounce rate. You can play about and test what sort of webpage tweaks decrease your bounce rate using A/B testing.
Google is a bit of a school ma’am when it comes to facts. Wrong information can lead to your website being demoted in the search engine rankings, so always check your facts and even spellings before posting content.
Everyone knows America is a country. Most people know it has 50 states. There’s nothing new or insightful about these sort of general knowledge statements on a website. If you want to climb the search rankings, you need fresh content. You can acquire facts that noone else has by carrying out studies and research surrounding your product or industry. For example, if you are a fashion boutique – you could poll customers to find out insider info about their shopping habits and release that info on your blog etc.
Don’t duplicate your content. Even if you have to write about a new product launch several times – for your blog, landing page and press page, make sure you word you content differently.
If you’re going to the trouble to write and post blog posts and social media updates, make sure you create a biography explaining who you are and what experience or skills you have that make you qualified to write about such a topic. This is easy to do in sites like WordPress. Don’t use aliases in this biography if possible. Use your real name and make sure you use the same spelling of that name on all your online content. The reason for this is that Google rewards expertise.
- Contact info
The presence of contact information on a website is a ranking factor that Google refers to as a secondary quality factor, so it doesn’t affect your ranking as much as the factors above – however it’s still important. Make sure you include an email address and a contact form, at least ,on your website. It’s also important to make your contact details easy for a Internet user to find – so place it in your navigation bar if you can.
Google likes websites that are given TLC. This means that you should do regular spring cleans of your site to remove any out of date content from landing pages and blogs. It also means you should update content as much as you can.
Not All Pages Are Created Equal
Some types of web pages are scrutinised even more closely by Google. These pages are known by industry experts as Your Money Or Your Life Pages. In a nutshell, they are pages that could have a direct affect on a person’s future happiness and quality of life and they include pages like shopping pages, financial information pages, and medical pages. When it comes to these pages it’s even more important to focus on quality content.
For more information on content check out this blog.
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