Today we tweeted about how content is king. Why is content king when it comes to a website? Is this related to an ego thing to make kings feel grand? Not really. It's truly because without quality content on your site if all you have is a pretty site then you don't have a site that Google or the other search engines will feel is quality.
We see the panda bear as cute and cuddly. This is in real-life but when it comes to mixing a panda with Google we start to question the lovability of the panda bear. On February 24, 2011 Google first released what is known as the Panda Update quality became ever more important. This was undoubtable the largest update that Google has ever made for website owners. This made many websites move down past page one where they were very happy being. Low-quality sites with little to no content to this day has continued to drop off the first pages of the search engine. Since the initial release dozens of updates under panda have happened. These have been enhancements and tweaks to further improve the panda algorithm.
Why start out with spammy sites and not just jump into what quality content is? Well, because to know about what good content is you first need to know what bad content is. We all know and understand what spam is whether it comes in the form of email. With email we all know receiving items we never asked for is spam. Businesses will also do this technique without even realizing it. Businesses also take it on good faith that the people maintaining their website and doing their digital marketing (search engine optimization, social media, newsletters, etc.) are doing so using the best and latest techniques from the search engines. This is not always the case and a moment of gratification from one of these questionable companies could cost your business much needed web traffic for months to come if you let it happen. When it comes to spam on a website you will see people repeat the keywords they want to be found under multiple times on a given page or even color the text the same as the background to help you get to the first page of the search engines. More often than not the words will not make sense as the page is filled with this negative tactic. This is considered low quality and spammy techniques that will hurt your website.
So what is "Quality Content"?
Quality content is more important now than it has ever been before. There is more competition for the first page as well as for your attention. When it comes down to the subject of quality we have to go all the way back to the 2011 days when Google outlines what quality is and why it is important. You would think that those of us in the internet industry would fully understand this but all too often we see this isn't the case.
The list below is from the article we referenced from Google. If you can answer these questions as you develop the content for your website you can sleep well in knowing that Google, and the other search engines, will treat your content as relevant and not as spam. It will stand a much better chance of being seen as quality content.
- Would you trust the information presented in this article?
- Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
- Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
- Note: All of the search engines now see sites as more credible having an SSL certificate then those without. Even if you don't take credit cards this is not a bad option to do on your website. You'll notice here on the JM2 Webdesigners site that every page starts out with https as we encrypt every page.
- Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
- Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
- Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
- Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- How much quality control is done on content?
- Does the article describe both sides of a story?
- Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
- Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don't get as much attention or care?
- Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- 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?
- Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
- 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?
- Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
- Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
- 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?
We've gone over a lot of information in this article for you. We've referenced a document over four years old to help you realize how important content is. Just having a beautiful site and a lack of quality content you will be hurting your chances of being seen well on the search engines. By answering the questions above, not doing spammy "stuff" (I know technical word "stuff"), you'll move up in the search engines as you continue to build credibility and trust with your site visitors.
You will find that by being honest (our rule #1) will get you farther than trying to "beat the system". When you do the right thing on the Internet the right thing will happen to you.
If you would like help in having all of your content sound the same, produce the type of content that is quality for your business we have not only graphic designers and software developers on staff (we don't outsource) but also content writers who have years of experience in writing and being consistent. They will work with your existing content or help you create new and engaging content to promote your products and services using only the recommended techniques of the search engines. To learn more you can contact us at 855-456-2669, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you or visiting your site and reading some truly great content!