Google is intensely focused on improving our search experience by providing relevant, high-quality search results. So much so that they are continuously tweaking the search algorithms.
We recently posted a simplified take on their ‘Helpful Content’ update, and today we want to give you some clarity on the meaning of ‘Quality Content.’
The Meaning of ‘Quality Content’ According to Google
Quality content, according to Google, is the kind of content that meets its algorithms and this differs from keywords.
Google has very high Page Quality (PQ) rating standards, and this is because low-quality pages might negatively impact a person’s health, financial stability, or safety.
Google assesses the quality of a website by looking both at the website as a whole and on a page-by-page and post-by-post level. The Panda update was specifically implemented to reduce the rankings of low-quality sites.
Introduced in 2011, the Panda update was an adjustment of the Google algorithm. Its primary goal was to improve search results by filtering substandard sites. This process has continued over the years, complimented by the ‘Helpful Content’ update released in August 2022.
The big question is then – how do Google rate websites as high-quality? What is considered?
Characteristics of High-Quality Content
For webpages to have a high-quality rating, they must contain a combination of these characteristics:
1. Main Content (MC)
As the name illustrates, the main content of your site supports your core message. Your main content can be anything from images, videos, text, etc.
Google considers some of these examples just to give you an idea;
Ask yourself whether your website has a pleasing amount of main content. Then, check if the main content is high quality. Are your images grainy? Product descriptions confusing? Instructions missing or vague? MC is important because it will help improve your website’s rating.
Meaning Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (EEAT). According to Google, for web pages to be considered high quality, they need to have a significant amount of expertise in order to be authoritative and trustworthy regarding their topic.
EEAT is one of the many regulations used by Google to decide whether any content is beneficial to readers. Get topic experts in that specific field to write your content. Ensure background checks are performed on the sources, and cite sources correctly.
Not all topics have to be formal. If you do product reviews, then they will be based on life experience or “everyday expertise” as Google calls it.
3. Good reputation
A positive reputation goes a long way in your PQ rating. If your website is found to be of medium quality, then a positive reputation could improve your rating to high quality.
Opinions of experts on your page’s subject matter and real users’ experiences are the deciding factors on your website’s reputation. Make it possible for users to rate you, or leave comments where their real-life experience can be shared.
Also, search for your website name to track down any forum posts, reviews, or discussions written by other people.
Be super vigilant while guarding your positive reputation. Reach out to any less than positive review or comment to assist and repair the less favorable review.
4. Website info
For a website to be considered having a satisfying amount of website info and to receive a high-quality rating, it needs to have;
Since Your Money or Your Life websites demand a high degree of trust, these websites must have a sufficient amount of website info. This is to make the audience of that website comfortable and trusting.
5. Supplementary Content (SC)
Ever visited a website and seen the famous “You Might Also Like” option? Well, that’s considered supplementary content and it might play an important role in your ratings.
Even if your website doesn’t have SC, it might do well in ratings, but why would you pass up on a chance to improve your site’s ratings? I know I wouldn’t!
What is ‘Quality Content’ for a Blog Owner?
Quality content is how well your content achieves its goals (such as marketing goals) and the depth of information in your content. Quality content also goes beyond information and includes grammar, readability, and formatting.
Your Money or Your Life content (YMYL)
Before evaluating any article, search engines always start by understanding an article’s topic and the category it falls under.
Many websites on the internet cover topics that, if incorrect, can have damaging consequences to a reader’s health, finances, or safety. Such topics are referred to as Your Money or Your Life topics.
Any content that can influence big decisions in a person’s life is important and, as such, it is held to Google’s high-quality standard.
If you have Your Money or Your Life type of articles, then you know that quality content is extremely important for ranking, and you need to improve the quality of your website and content.
One interesting measure of the quality of an article is how many times an article has been cited or referred to.
How many times an article has been cited is taken as its impact, the more it’s referenced, the higher the impact it has.
Engaging your audience
Almost anyone who owns a blog can attest to the fact that getting the intended audience interested in your blog is tricky.
It’s even harder to engage readers and keep them coming back.
If the right audience ‘stumbles’ on your website and finds your content to be engaging and of good quality, then they will stay. Therefore, it’s important to produce quality articles all the time with engaging and accurate content that is easy to ‘consume.’
A highly educated audience would expect content that engages their intellectual curiosity, while teens prefer a casual reading style. Each of these example audiences would ‘consume’ content differently. So understanding your audience is important.
Make sure you have engaging articles that provide true value-add to your audience.
We all want our websites to look and do good, which will keep our audiences interested and coming back. Does your website come across as professional or fun, if that is your aim? Is your chosen typography easy to read? Font size not glaring or too small?
How about advertising? Another recent release due in October 2022 will affect how Google Ads are displayed on your website. The aim is to cut down on annoying ads, and ads that are misplaced, often intentionally. Although I cannot say whether this will affect your ranking, irritating ads definitely affect the reader experience.
Do you use good quality graphics and a sufficient number? Read our related article ‘The Importance of Good Graphic Design’ for more on this.
Implementing Quality Content on Your Website – A Three-Step Approach
To practice what I preach, let me not only tell you what the meaning of quality content is but also provide you with practical steps to improve your website.
Ask a friend or family member to review your site. Your chosen color scheme may need to be changed, as does the typography. However, since you work on your site every day, you may be oblivious to such small details, while a first-time visitor might not return merely because your font size was too small. Get a couple of unbiased opinions and action their constructive criticism.
Review every single blog post on your site. Ask yourself if you were a reader reading this for the first time, would you see this article as worth referencing? Ask yourself if this content is helping you achieve your marketing goals. Do you want to be seen as a thought leader? Does this article help you or not? Do you want your reader to subscribe? Is this article encouraging that or not? Is the article well written, either up to date or evergreen, with excellent graphics?
What about the author? Is the author an expert on this topic, or an authority figure? Should the reader trust this author? If your site is classified as YMYL, is your author accredited?
By now, you should have a list of pages you can improve. A list of feedback given to you by unbiased friends, and a list of blog posts that should be removed or improved.
Based on the meaning of quality content, according to Google, you can improve your ranking by actioning the lists you have, and also create fresh new high-quality content using accredited writers.
This three-step approach will positively impact your rankings and you will have earned the ‘Best Quality’ stamp of approval from Google – and your readers!
Conclusion to The Meaning of ‘Quality Content’
In this article, we have started by defining what the meaning of quality content is according to Google, and that quality content is how well your blog achieves its goals. We’ve also explained why it’s important to have quality content in your blog.
Following all our guidelines will help improve your blog’s SEO and increase your audience numbers and get your blog soaring!
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Do you need help creating great quality content?
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