It is no more news that in recent months, Google has been focusing on helping people find high-quality sites in Google’s search results, which in return, is reducing the ranking of low-quality content. While surfing the internet as usual, I stumbled on an update published by Google after the “Panda algorithm change” where Google highlights some questions that one could use to access the “quality” of a page or an article.
Of course, Google isn’t disclosing the actual ranking signals used in their algorithms because Google doesn’t want folks to game their search results; but if you want to step into Google’s mindset, the questions below provide some guidance on how Google has been looking at the issue:
- Would you trust the information presented in this article
- Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
- Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
- Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
- Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
- Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
- Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- How much quality control is done on content?
- Does the article describe both sides of a story?
- Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
- Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
- Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
- Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
- Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
- Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
- Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
- Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
- Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
- Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
The questions above are some questions that one could use to assess the “quality” of a page or an article. Think of it as Google’s take at encoding what they think their users want.
The questions above should give some insight into how Google try to write algorithms that distinguish higher-quality sites from lower-quality sites.
What You Can Do
If you want to improve your rankings on Google, particularly if you think you’ve been impacted by the Panda update, Google encourages you to keep questions like the ones above in mind as you focus on developing high-quality content rather than trying to optimize for any particular Google algorithm.
One other specific piece of guidance Google offered is that low-quality content on some parts of a website can impact the whole site’s rankings, and thus removing low quality pages, merging or improving the content of individual shallow pages into more useful pages, or moving low quality pages to a different domain could eventually help the rankings of your higher-quality content.
Google is continuing to work on additional algorithmic iterations to help webmasters operating high-quality sites get more traffic from search. As you continue to improve your sites, rather than focusing on one particular algorithmic tweak, Google encourages you to ask yourself the same sorts of questions asked when looking at the big picture. This way your site will be more likely to rank well for the long-term.
I hope this helps…
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