Hello readers, of late if you have noticed, Google Search has been focusing on helping people find high-quality websites in its search results pages. The “Panda” algorithm change which hit in early 2011 has seen constant improvements and updates resulting in improved rankings for a large number of high-quality websites.
But then there are sites that may have been negatively affected by the Google Panda update and would want to acquire some information on how Google searches for high-quality sites. In a recent panda update post Google has attempted to share guidelines for building better quality websites. Our article on SEO for websites and why content is important for SEO success is a suggested read before you begin reading this post further.
Google says “search is a complicated art and science, so rather than focusing on specific algorithmic tweaks, we encourage you to focus on delivering the best possible experience for users”. Yes, friends the user experience is critical for all businesses be it online or offline. User experience is a critical parameter in evaluating the quality of a website and Google is taking this seriously to ensure quality search results.
What counts as a high-quality website?
Google says “Our site quality algorithms are aimed at helping people find “high-quality” sites by reducing the rankings of low-quality content. The recent “Panda” change tackles the difficult task of algorithmically assessing website quality.”
In an attempt to explain some of the ideas and research that drive the development of our algorithms, Google has shared information which will help clients, webmasters, SEO’s and digital marketers to assess the quality of a website, web page or an article.
These are the type of questions Google says its team would consider when writing algorithms, that attempt to assess site quality. Essentially it’s what Google thinks the search users want.
A large chunk of questions are about content. We have written about this quite a while back in our post about content writing tips that Google will love .
But now there are more SEO tips here, so consider the following questions when you think website SEO.
Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this website?
Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
Does the article describe both sides of a story?
Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
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?
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?
(Google Adsense users, this is a parameter google is considering for SEO ranking)
Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
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?
According to Google “we hope the questions above give some insight into how we try to write algorithms that distinguish higher-quality websites from lower-quality ones.”
What can help achieve better search results ranking on Google?
Keep questions like the ones above and those in our earlier posts and also ensure hygiene parameters are not ignored, like our post on Search engine optimization for small websites or how to avoid SEO penalties for over-optimization. Most important would be to focus on developing high-quality content rather than trying to optimize for any particular algorithm.
Remember that low-quality content on some parts of a website can impact the whole site’s rankings. Following the right steps will ensure that your website will be more likely to rank well for the long-term.