How to make sure your website content meets Google’s quality guidelines
If you want your website content to rank high up in Google’s search results, a great place to start is with the search giant’s very own quality guidelines, which you will find tucked within the official Webmaster Guidelines.
Why should I care about Google’s quality guidelines?
Because Google says so!
“We strongly encourage you to pay very close attention to the ‘Quality Guidelines’, which outline some of the illicit practices that may lead to a site being removed entirely from the Google index or otherwise impacted by an algorithmic or manual spam action.”
Google is the single biggest search engine in the world, and studies have shown that over 70% of users click on search results from page 1, and do not bother to check out listings on page 2 and beyond. In fact, 67% of users make their selection from the first 5 listings alone! This means if you want the traffic that results from your content appearing at the top of the search results pages, you need to play ball with Google’s rules.
Why can’t I just repeat some keywords?
Once upon a time, it was possible to build a website, stuff it to the brim with keywords, and then sit back and watch Google’s rudimentary algorithm return your pages for matching search queries. A number of major algorithm overhauls later, this is no longer how SEO copywriting works, and techniques such as these will harm your ranking, rather than boost it.
These days, it’s essential to:
- Write for humans, not search engines. Don’t stuff keywords into your text: instead, write in natural phrases and paragraphs, dropping in relevant terms where they comfortably fit.
- Create original content. Lots of websites publish content that’s technically unique but completely generic. Your content needs to offer something new if Google is to be persuaded to rank your page above the thousands of other pages saying the same thing.
- Explore semantic relationships between your keywords. Google’s Hummingbird algorithm is all about understanding user intent, so try to include a variety of words and phrases related to your topic, rather than just repeating a narrow set of keywords.
- Remember your meta data. Every page needs a unique title and description, and every image needs an alt tag. Don’t use the same titles across multiple pages: this just tells Google that all of your content is the same!
- Remove user-generated spam. Things like auto-generated blog comments, or spam postings on a user forum, can all impact your site negatively.
- Create a sitemap. This helps Google crawl its way through your content – so make sure all your pages are listed.
Remember: websites don’t rank; pages do. Every page of content on your website needs to serve a defined purpose – and every page MUST meet Google’s quality guidelines if it is to stand a chance of a decent ranking in the search results.
You can read an in-depth checklist to Google’s quality guidelines on the Write My Site blog.
The team at Kerboo will exhibiting on the expo floor at BrightonSEO so remember to stop by and say Hello, alternatively if you want to get a headstart on the conversation – Book a Demo or get in touch
The Kerboo Team