Everyone knows the importance of providing consistent and high-quality content on your website but determining what quality content actually looks like can be a bit tricky.
Because quality is subjective, of course, and while one person may enjoy one particular style of content, another may find it too long, not relevant enough or simply uninspiring.
Then, of course, you have Google. The Holy Grail of search engines. Everyone wants their content to rank highly on the site that receives over 63,000 searches every second.
That’s around two trillion searches per year by the way.
With the amount of content available increasing by the second, how can you ensure that your content is ranked higher than your competition?
Let’s first look at how Google evaluates the quality of your content, as this is a key step in helping to understand how to create high ranking content.
Google does not rank content to make your life more difficult, even though it can sometimes feel as though they do. They rank content because they want to provide their users with the best answers or solutions to their queries. It’s important to their users and therefore, it’s important to them.
This is why Google has a set of search quality guidelines to try to help people create high-quality, relevant content that will be beneficial to its users.
So, let’s take a look at how Google evaluates your content quality.
The process of making your page appear on search engine results is called indexing. If you do not index your page in Google, then it will not appear on their search engine results. However, when you successfully index your content, you will automatically get more traffic and any new content you post will be discovered far more quickly.
Therefore, it is vital that you follow the indexing strategies below to ensure Google evaluates your content:
The ongoing and never-ending debate – how long should quality content be?
You could ask 100 SEO experts and they would probably all give you a different answer. Some believe that longer content directly correlates with higher search rankings. Whereas others believe that short and sweet caters better for the short attention spans of today’s users.
However, it’s what Google thinks that really matters, and they have been very clear about how they feel about the importance (or lack of it) when it comes to the word count in evaluating quality content.
In fact, John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, revealed in August 2019 that ‘word count is not a ranking factor’.
Furthermore, the Google Quality Raters do not even count every word of each piece of content, so why are you bothering?
This is arguably the most important element in ensuring that Google ranks your content highly. They are looking for the content that provides the most standout solution to their users’ queries.
If you provide the best answer for users, Google will rank you highly. It really is that simple.
A Google penalty is a punishment against a website whose content goes against the marketing practices enforced by Google. If you are hit with a Google penalty, you will immediately notice a significant drop in traffic to your site.
There are two easy ways to find out if you have been penalized by Google:
Sistrix is a great tool to review the impact of Google Core Updates on your website visibility by checking its Visibility Index.
A Google penalty can have an extremely negative effect on your website, sending it plummeting down the search ranks. Thankfully, there are ways in which you can reverse a Google penalty and restore your organic search traffic.
Having unhealthy or dangerous links within your content is a huge no-no for Google and will almost always result in a penalty. Therefore, it is vital that you perform a backlink audit to remove any spam links.
It is also advisable to remove any links from:
Even if you think you are creating high-quality content, that does not mean that it is effective content. You could be missing out on invaluable keywords, not providing enough information to satisfy user queries, or your content could simply not be formatted in the most productive way.
That is why it is so important to carry out a content audit, and even more so if you have been penalized by Google. Here’s how you are going to do it:
Whilst not visual on the page, ensure your content audit includes your pages’ metadata. The Screaming Frog SEO Spider allows you to review both technical and onsite SEO in the same place.
Page titles are a crucial factor in the user’s decision to visit your website in the first place.
Putting yourself in your customers’ shoes, evaluate your page titles:
Are they effective? Do they draw the reader in? Do they accurately convey what the content is about?
If not, make appropriate changes to ensure that your content is as appealing as possible.
If SEO isn’t already one of your top priorities when it comes to your content, then you need to make it one ASAP. However, this is no simple task, as Google is constantly changing and updating their algorithms to ensure that the pages they feature are secure, fast and easy to use for its users.
Therefore, it is very important that you are able to adapt to new SEO tactics, and one of the simplest ways to stay on top of this and avoid Google penalties is by carrying out a technical SEO site audit.
It can also be extremely useful to carry out an SEO competitive analysis to ensure that you are always one step ahead of your competition.
The key to continuously ranking highly on Google is never resting on your laurels.
The needs of users are constantly changing. Google’s algorithms are constantly being updated. Therefore, you need to ensure that you are continually working to improve and overhaul your site and the content posted on it.
If you do this, Google will reward you.