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What Does Quality Content Mean In The Eyes Of Google

Google rolled out this new November core update which affected a lot of websites.

Resulting rankings and traffic drop. 

A guy named Max Dai took it to the Google’s official forum and asked this question?

what-quality-content-means

To which Nikolaj Antonov replied: Focus on content. As explained, pages that drop after a core update don’t have anything wrong to fix. This said, we understand those who do less well after a core update change may still feel they need to do something. We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.

This statement clearly shouts “create quality content” but also raises a question…

What does quality content mean in the eyes of Google?

Fortunately, in the end of the answer Nikolaj drops some “updated” questions you can ask yourself to ensure you’re creating quality content or not.

Below are the questions, grab a pen and a paper or bookmark this page for future.

Table of Contents

Content & Quality Questions

Does the content provide original information, reporting, research or analysis?

You have to provide something unique. You. Have. To. Research. 

You don’t need any super expensive tool to research. Just place a poll on different social media platforms and track the results. 

And doing that can help your blog in countless ways. 

Brain Dean uploaded this study last year, titled “We Analyzed 11.8 Million Google Search Results”. 

backlinko-study-about-search-results

Now that looks like a lot of work.

But, his hard work paid off and that study brought him 14,383 shares on social media. 

quality-content-means

Till today, this post brings Brain a lot of backlinks.

Does the content provide a substantial, complete or comprehensive description of the topic?

Your blog post must cover each and everything related to that one specific topic that you’re writing about. 

In other words, you need to be a go-to guide for that topic. 

Note: a lot of people believe comprehensive guide means a lengthy 2000-5000 words blog post. But that is false. Because word count has nothing to do with the quality of a blog post. 

In fact, word count is not even a ranking factor. 

John Muller’s tweet

It’s all about search intent and the query. 

Suppose you’re writing an article on “how to restart an iphone”. 

You can create a comprehensive guide with 500 words on that topic easily. 500 words are more than enough for that teeny tiny topic. 

But, if the question is to write a comprehensive guide on SEO. I’m pretty sure you would need much more than 2000-3000 words to cover every aspect of SEO.

Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?

“Cause of the great London fires”

-Fire.

Copy this idea by Ricky Kesler from Income School to avoid writing content that is obvious. 

He says “whenever I sit back to write an article. I eliminate the first couple of ideas that come to my mind. Because, they are obvious and everybody could think of them”. 

This is genius! 

If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?

If you can’t research on your own, you can use other trusted sources on the web and still stand out as a quality content. 

Is this what this question means? 

A big NO!

Copying those sources word-to-word is obviously going to get you penalized for plagiarism. 

What your content has to do is to provide additional value. If you’re mentioning a research or a case study, talk about it. Tell your audience why you’re talking about it and what it has to do with your blog post.

Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?

Your title tag needs to be descriptive & helpful for readers as well as search engines. 

Does the headline and/or page title avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?

EMV titles get a high click-through rate. But, some people just take it too far. 

fishing-meme

And this is what Google advices to avoid.

No doubt, search engines are smart and they can figure out what your content is about. But you can’t forget that these are still robots and not real humans.

Any kind of help you provide to make them understand your content better is going to help you boost your chances for that number 1 spot on the SERPs.

Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?

This question is so obvious. You wouldn’t bookmark or share an invaluable page with your friends. 

Expertise Questions

Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author?

You have to be crystal clear when you’re writing a blog post. 

Evidence of the expertise means why one should not bounce back from your website. 

Suppose, a unique visitor from search came to your website for the first time. You haven’t established the trust between them yet. What is the reason they should read the rest of your article?

That’s why evidence of expertise is necessary. 

Show people that you know what you’re talking about. 

There is a thing like E-A-T that google uses to index worthy results. Which means expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. 

Trustworthiness comes from knowing. In this case, knowing the author. 

In plain English, if your about or author page ends in like 3-4 lines.

You’re surely going to have a hard time getting labeled as trustworthy. So, go to your dashboard and edit your “about” or “author” page. 

Make it a little bit interesting like this one. (you can click on the click, it will open in new tab)

Here we see a quick answer to who Jim Harmer actually is.

If you scroll a bit, you’ll see his work story. If you go-through it you can see his autograph along with some words about his book.

Below are his recognition and awards.

Scroll a bit down and you’ll see his personal story.

And in the end is the most unique thing, his bucket list. This is the list of 50 things or I can say 50 achievements he have to achieve in his life. Some of them are completed and some are yet to be.

And at the end of the page are the logos of the sites he had built and had success with.

So, I don’t want you to start a bucket list today and stick that to your about page but the point is this is something unique. This is something you don’t see on other blogs. And this is something memorable that can keep you coming to his blog.

The point here is uniqueness. And that’s what Google is trying to reward.

Does the content have any easily-verified factual errors?

Earth is 40% land and 60% water. 

What would you have done if you read something like this in a blog post?

Obviously, you’re going to bounce back because I just don’t research the facts I’m using in my writing. 

And that’s exactly opposite of what search engines are looking for. Search engines like Google hate websites that make people want to go back as soon as they show up. 

Presentation And Production Questions

Does the content have any spelling or stylistic issues?

Shuan Poore did a study about spelling errors and search rankings. And surprisingly all the top results for very competitive keywords were full of Grammarly errors. 

54,30,42, and 20 Grammarly errors were found in the number one results of these competitive keywords given below:

Keywords are: How to start a business, How to lose weight, How to start a blog, Why a business partner is a bad idea.

But this whole list is not about search engine optimization but quality content. 

That being said, quality content needs to be spelling error free. However, this doesn’t directly impact rankings. 

Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?

Doesn’t matter how good your study is, or how much time you put into that study. If you’re not producing it well, nobody’s going to read it. 

The Internet wants well produced articles. Because, that’s the only way to make your writing stand out. 

Does the content have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?

This is something serious, man. And a lot of website owners have to take this seriously. Excessive amount of ads is a big turn off for readers as well as search engines. 

I have seen websites that feels like more torturous than electrical chair just because of countless ads. 

Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?

Mobile responsiveness is a big ranking factor. 

If you have a website that looks like a mini web version in the mobile phone, you better start worrying. 

ICYMI: If you’re curious if your website is mobile friendly or not. Check out this tool from Google. 

It’s called “Mobile responsive test”. And as the name suggests it tests the webpage and makes sure if the page is optimized for mobiles or not. 

Just place your url in this box and … 

BOOM! 

mobile-friendly-test-passed

Comparative Questions 

Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?

Analyzing your competitors is key to creating quality content.

What does quality content means in the eyes of Google

And that’s how you win at the SERPs. 

Does the content seem to be serving the genuine interests of visitors to the site or does it seem to exist solely by someone attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?

Last but not least, write for humans. 

If you’re writing exactly for humans without caring about any kind of keyword density, using keywords, here and there, etc…

You’re creating quality content. 

People used to stuff keywords, buy backlinks, and whatnot!

Time has changed and do you know what else has changed? 

Search engines. 

So, do not waste your time in trying to trick search engines instead create content that is quality!

That’s it for today. I hope you learned something new. If you did please don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter. 

Thank you for reading. 

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