GOOD content: We all know it when we see it, but what is it? The question is more important than ever in the wake of upgrades to Google’s algorithms that have shaken up the search engine optimisation (SEO) sector. So, what is the confused SEO practitioner to do in this brave new world where content quality trumps all?
In a webmaster blog post in 2011, Google’s search gurus gave perhaps their most detailed exposition to date of what makes good quality in their book. Their list makes for disconcerting, if rather obvious, reading. Google is looking for a deep richness that is hard to automate or duplicate. The list asks specific questions of content, but all touch upon three key values: trustworthiness, accuracy and originality.
Asking how your site’s content measures up to these values will go a long way to determining how favourably Google will look upon it, now and in the future.
- How trustworthy are your authors? What is the source of their authority? What qualifications do they have? Are issues reflected fairly, or are your authors biased?
- How seriously do you take accuracy? Is editing and fact checking just good enough or the best you can do? Sloppy quality control is a strong indication that a publisher’s mind is not on his or her content.
- How unique is your content? What are you giving your readers that other sites are not? What insights do your authors have that go beyond the obvious.
In essence, Google is asking the world’s content providers to serve up more meat rather than endlessly rewriting the menu.
Still not sure if your offerings are making the grade? Then ask yourself the single question Google has staked its own reputation on: ‘Would you consider dishing up your concoction for a friend or putting your own name on it?’
If not, you’re still serving spam in an increasingly gourmet world.