To Google, what exactly is quality content?

The Definition of Quality Content depends on a lot of factors.
It includes images, layout, how everything is presented, page speed, and other factors, some of which are related to user experience and how information is delivered to site visitors.

Learn how to create high-quality content that is useful to users, ranks well in search engines, and outperforms the competition.

Content quality is subjective. Some people will want a high-level overview, while others will want more detail and expert insights. Quality content will be superior to existing content, and readers will find it useful, memorable, and likely to share it.

As SEOs, we usually write about topics that people are looking for. This makes the content useful, but if you read many top-ranking sites, you’ll notice that they frequently say the same things. Reading the first few results may make you feel like you’re reading the same thing over and over.

Which is time wasting right?

There are many buzzwords, such as 10x content or skyscraper content, but all you really need to do is create something better than what is already there.

How to Make Good Content.

Creating quality content is a combination of science and art. It also necessitates a significant amount of effort and expertise.

SEOs have a wealth of data at their disposal. As we can see,

  • With keyword research, all the things people look up.
  • Everything that top content is ranked for.
  • All the topics covered in the existing content.

When someone searches online, many of them hope to quickly and easily locate some basic information. Useful content is well-organized, concise, and simple to read and scan without wasting much time.

Many people who search want to find the most basic information possible in an organised way. Useful content is that which is arranged, clarified, and simple to read and scan.

Although a lot of the content produced by SEOs is meant to rank in search engines, people can also benefit from it. We frequently address user searches and provide information on the subject. That kind of content serves as an excellent introduction to a subject for many users.

The issue is that we frequently pass off our expertise as our own or that of our writers.

You need actual expertise to produce high-quality material.

Your work can be distinguished from what is already available by:

  • Revealing your knowledge, experiences, and insights.
  • Including information that is only yours.
  • Expressing an opinion, offering a fresh perspective, or being original.
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Numerous pages that are currently ranked have probably been doing so for years. It’s possible that they improved their content throughout that time by updating and improving it.

A lot of strong and pertinent links may also be present in existing content. Top-ranking material has a tendency to receive more links, which makes it challenging to surpass.

To get through that kind of content, you have to be exceptional and diligent. This won’t be simple.

You will probably require a group of people to defeat them.

  • An SEO specialist will conduct the research.
  • A fantastic storyteller and writer.
  • An expert because of their unique insights.
  • An editor will be assigned to correct any errors.

Each person contributes valuable skills required to create high-quality content.

Creating this type of content requires more effort than most businesses are willing to invest. 

It can be difficult to gain buy-in without demonstrating some sort of preliminary results. 

It is much easier to argue for the resources required to create this content once you have a couple of hits or some preliminary results.

Many businesses fall into the trap of treating content creation as a one-time task rather than an iterative process. 

When you have more resources and want to get better, you can always improve your current content.

How to Assess Quality

measurement is difficult because it is subjective. Many SEOs will consider word count and keyword density, but these are poor metrics. Some questions, such as a person’s age, can be completely answered with a single number. You don’t need to know everything about them.

There is no single correct way to assess quality.

SEOs should consider:

  • Rankings.
  • Traffic.
  • Links.
  • Mentions.
  • Social shares. 

Businesses will want to measure:

  • Conversions.
  • Qualified leads.
  • Revenue. 

You should also think about things like user satisfaction.

Search engines face the difficult task of determining what are good results for a wide range of users with varying wants and needs. In general, they show a variety of content that caters to various user intents, ensuring that everyone will find something useful.

Let’s take a look at some of the content creation tips provided by search engines.

How search engines view quality content

Google developed a number of algorithms to determine what content is best for users. They also give a lot of direction on what they’re looking for.

Some of the terms they use to describe the type of content they are looking for are:

  • Expert.
  • Authoritative.
  • Trustworthy.
  • Relevant.
  • Useful, helpful.
  • High-quality.
  • Original.
  • Comprehensive.
  • Interesting.
  • Insightful.
  • Factual.
  • Detailed.
  • Engaging.
  • Credible.
  • Informative.
  • Valuable.
  • User-centric.
  • Authentic. 

Most of those are subjective adjectives and are hard to measure. Still, they provide a lot of guidance with the questions their engineers are asking themselves and even the guidance they give their quality raters.

Google Webmaster Quality Guidelines

Google has quality guidelines, which are:

Basic principles

  • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
  • Don’t deceive your users.
  • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
  • Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.

Specific guidelines

Avoid the following techniques:

  • Automatically generated content intended to manipulate search rankings
  • Participating in link schemes
  • Creating pages with little or no original content
  • Cloaking
  • Sneaky redirects
  • Hidden text or links
  • Doorway pages
  • Scraped content
  • Participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value
  • Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
  • Creating pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware
  • Abusing structured data markup
  • Sending automated queries to Google

Follow good practices:

  • Monitoring your site for hacking and removing hacked content as soon as it appears
  • Preventing and removing user-generated spam on your site
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Google on how to create valuable content

Then there’s this section (archived via the Wayback Machine) from Google’s Webmaster Academy course, which provided guidance on how to “create valuable content.”

As you begin creating content, make sure your website is:

Useful and informative: If you’re launching a site for a restaurant, you can include the location, hours of operation, contact information, menu and a blog to share upcoming events.

More valuable and useful than other sites: If you write about how to train a dog, make sure your article provides more value or a different perspective than the numerous articles on the web on dog training.

Credible: Show your site’s credibility by using original research, citations, links, reviews and testimonials. An author biography or testimonials from real customers can help boost your site’s trustworthiness and reputation.

High-quality: Your site’s content should be unique, specific and high-quality. It should not be mass-produced or outsourced on a large number of other sites. Keep in mind that your content should be created primarily to give visitors a good user experience, not to rank well in search engines.

Engaging: Bring color and life to your site by adding images of your products, your team or yourself. Make sure visitors are not distracted by spelling, stylistic and factual errors. An excessive number of ads can also be distracting for visitors. Engage visitors by interacting with them through regular updates, comment boxes or social media widgets.

Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines

It’s worth reading the Google Search Quality Ratings Guidelines (multiple times). I’ve pulled out some of the important parts specific to quality here:

4.1 Characteristics of High Quality Pages

High quality pages exist for almost any beneficial purpose, from giving information to making people laugh to expressing oneself artistically to purchasing products or services online.

What makes a High quality page? A High quality page should have a beneficial purpose and achieve that purpose well. In addition, High quality pages have the following characteristics:

• High level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).

• A satisfying amount of high quality MC, including a descriptive or helpful title.

• Satisfying website information and/or information about who is responsible for the website. If the page is primarily for shopping or includes financial transactions, then it should have satisfying customer service information.

• Positive website reputation for a website that is responsible for the MC on the page. Positive reputation of the creator of the MC, if different from that of the website.

4.2 A Satisfying Amount of High Quality Main Content

The quality of the MC is one of the most important criteria in Page Quality rating, and informs the E-A-T of the page. For all types of webpages, creating high quality MC takes a significant amount of at least one of the following: time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill. For news articles and information pages, high quality MC must be factually accurate for the topic and must be supported by expert consensus where such consensus exists.

For each page you evaluate, spend a few minutes examining the MC before drawing a conclusion about it. Read the article, watch the video, examine the pictures, use the calculator, play the online game, etc. Remember that MC also includes page features and functionality, so test the page out. For example, if the page is a product page on a store website, put at least one product in the cart to make sure the shopping cart is functioning. If the page is an online game, spend a few minutes playing it.

The purpose of the page will help you determine what high quality content means for that page. For example, High quality information pages should be factually accurate, clearly written, and comprehensive. High quality shopping content should allow users to find the products they want and to purchase the products easily. High quality humor or satire should be entertaining, while factual accuracy is not a requirement as long as the page would be understood as satire by users.

The amount of content necessary for the page to be satisfying depends on the topic and purpose of the page. A High quality page on a broad topic with a lot of available information will have more content than a High quality page on a narrower topic. Here are some examples of pages with a satisfying amount of high quality MC.

How does Google define helpful content?

Google has also provided best practices and questions to ask yourself around some of its major algorithm updates – Panda, Core, Product Review and helpful content.

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You can find that all compiled in this article: What is helpful content, according to Google.

Google algorithms and related resources:

How Microsoft Bing considers content quality

Microsoft Bing also provides some guidance that breaks down content quality into three “pillars”:

  • Authority: Can we trust this content?
  • Utility: Is the content useful and sufficiently detailed?
  • Presentation: Is the content well-presented and easy to find?

Final thoughts

Creating quality content takes time, effort, resources and expertise.

You have to put in more work, be more creative and have more knowledge than those who came before you to create something great.

If you can pull it off, you can create a moat that makes it difficult for others to cross. Even if they manage to surpass you, with a little more work you may be able to retake the top spot from them.

Keep at it and create something awesome!

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I am an African from Ghana who loves to read and code. As a result of being on the internet, my life has changed and this blog is about my experience building an online business with free offers and motivating and inspiring others to pursue their dreams.

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