Most businesses and marketing professionals know that Google looks for high quality content when it comes to deciding who tops the search engine rankings. It used to be a simple matter of putting in the right keywords, getting a few juicy inbound links and making sure you didn’t fall foul of any black hat tricks.
Search engine algorithms have been getting a lot more sophisticated in recent times. Whilst a few marketing professionals will focus on areas such as the Panda algorithm and trying to get the right side of it, Google actually tweaks and improves lots of different criteria. If you want to make sure you have the best chance of ranking high you need to focus on the overall quality of your content and largely forget about different algorithms and searching techniques.
What Makes High Quality Content for Google?
There’s a lot of guidance about content quality on the Google blog site but here are just a few tips for working out what is valued and what is not by search engines.
- Provide trusted content: Building up an audience who trust what you write takes a lot of work and is not something that can be achieved overnight. You need to produce content that is both accurate, informative and answers the questions your visitors have.
- Deliver expert knowledge: Having content written and posted by experts in their field greatly increases the desirability of your site. That can mean you as an individual, respected in your subject area, but it can also mean getting others to contribute to the content of your site.
- Don’t duplicate: Google and other search engines have long been concerned with duplicate content and it is damaging to any site. That not only means copying content outside your online presence but checking for individuals who may have taken the easy route and copied yours. Many businesses will have some duplicate content on their site and it pays to have a rewrite of this – a simple change of wording in certain areas can yield good dividends.
- Cut down the errors: It should be a given that errors such as spelling and grammar mistakes and things like broken links make your site look amateurish. Beyond simply trying to impress search engines, it’s not going to instil confidence in your visitors if you have slipshod writing and design.
- Balanced articles: If you are writing about a contentious issue then you need to give a balanced approach, in other words tell both sides of the story. You may be passionate about one particular point of view but keep in mind that Google likes readers to have that balance.
- Is it the kind of page visitors will bookmark? Don’t write content just for the sake of getting keywords into your site or to fill some space. Any content should be important and relevant to your visitors. Are they likely to save it and come back or share it with their peers.
- Low quality content can impact on the rest of your site: If you have a big site then there’s more chance of having low quality content somewhere. This can have a detrimental effect on the how you rank so it’s a good idea to review content every so often, delete the pages that no longer work or are weak, and make sure areas such as external links are okay.
If you have the right quality control procedures in place for your site, as well as a clear strategy about what content you are going to include, then you should expect to do well on search engines such as Google. It may take hard work and a good deal of thought, but quality content can set you apart from your competitors in more ways than one.