Creating quality content is one of the key strategies in getting a high ranking in the search engine results page. But quality is subjective. Each practitioner will give you different answers when you ask them what high quality content is. So, whose opinion really matters?
Google provides webmaster guidelines for quality content. However, it seems that Google is not a fan of spoon-feeding and these guidelines tell you more about what to avoid than what to actually do. If you do not want your Google to think your content is spam, take note of the illicit practices and black-hat techniques that Google has outlined in their webmaster guidelines.
Cardinal rule here is to make content for users, not search engines. Design your website and its content to serve your audience, not deceive them. Make your website enticing, engaging, and informative. An important tip from Google: ask yourself if your content is something you would post if search engines did not exist.
Always check your website for hacking, and immediately remove hacked or spam content. Always remember to create high quality and unique content to provide a better user experience.
What to Avoid
Google provides a list of things to avoid such as automatically generated content, cloaking, sneaky redirects, using irrelevant keywords, doorway pages, scraped content, and so forth. Basically, avoid malicious behavior and spam practices.
Creating Valuable Content
As more businesses become dependent on the internet in gaining a wider audience reach and consumer following, the bar for ranking higher in search engine results pages have become higher and higher. Competition has become fiercer due. Going above and beyond in creating unique and excellent content is a must in order to get higher rankings. Creating valuable content, according to module 1.4 of Google’s Webmaster Academy Course, is they key to an impressive website and a great user experience.
This will also encourage users to share your content and provide a backlink to your website. Make your content engaging, useful, informative, credible, and “high-quality”. Google also warns webmaster to make sure to avoid broken links, grammatical and spelling errors, excessive amount of ads, and spam content. Google also provides the E-A-T rule in creating quality content. Make sure that the following characteristics can be found in your content — Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
Understand Google’s Panda Algorithm
Google updated their Panda Algorithm to filter websites with low-quality content and put higher-quality content at the top of SERPs. Know what is considered low-quality content and avoid them at all costs to prevent a Google Panda hit. As they say, prevention is better than cure. So ensure that you have high quality content from the get-go. Attend an online SEO training course to learn more about algorithms and their role in search engine optimization.
Content must be user-directed. It is primarily important to determine what your users are looking for. If you understand what your users want and need, then direct your content towards that. Everything else will follow if you consistently think about providing excellent user experience, while remembering the concepts to avoid.
Michelle Gonzalez has been writing for SMEs across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK for the last five years. She is a highly-experienced blogger and SEO copywriter, writing business blogs for various industries such as marketing, law, health and wellness, beauty, and education, particularly on creating online courses such as those offered by ClickMinded.com.