Google has unveiled vital insights about what it considers important for site ranking.
Without divulging proprietary information, Google emphasized it’s all about value – quality for Internet users. In other words, there are no shortcuts for success.
There’s been a lot of buzz about Google’s algorithm updates and how they affect Internet sites. Many sites have benefited and others haven’t fared well in their Google ranking.
Well, Google has made it clear what it considers all-important.
“Our advice for publishers continues to be to focus on delivering the best possible user experience on your websites and not to focus too much on what they think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or signals,” wrote Amit Singhal on the Google Webmaster Central blog.
“Some publishers have fixated on our prior Panda algorithm change, but Panda was just one of roughly 500 search improvements we expect to roll out to search this year,” the spokesperson explained. In fact, since we launched Panda, we’ve rolled out over a dozen additional tweaks to our ranking algorithms, and some sites have incorrectly assumed that changes in their rankings were related to Panda.”
“Search is a complicated and evolving art and science, so rather than focusing on specific algorithmic tweaks, we encourage you to focus on delivering the best possible experience for users,” wrote Mr. Singhal.
“Our site quality algorithms are aimed at helping people find ‘high-quality’ sites by reducing the rankings of low-quality content,” he added. “The recent ‘Panda’ change tackles the difficult task of algorithmically assessing website quality.”
He indicated that Web site publishers will benefit by evaluating its page or article quality by asking specific questions – the type of questions that Google asks to analyze a site’s quality.
“Our advice for publishers continues to be to focus on delivering the best possible user experience on your websites and not to focus too much on what they think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or signals.”
Google’s 23 questions:
1. Would you trust the information presented in this article?
2. Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
3. Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
4. Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
5. Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
6. 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?
7. Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
8. Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
9. How much quality control is done on content?
10. Does the article describe both sides of a story?
11. Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
12. 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?
13. Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
14. For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
15. Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
16. Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
17. Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
18. Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
19. Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
20. Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
21. Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
22. Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
23. Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
More Google insights
“We’ve been hearing from many of you that you want more guidance on what you can do to improve your rankings on Google, particularly if you think you’ve been impacted by the Panda update,” added Mr. Singhal. “We encourage you to keep questions like the ones above in mind as you focus on developing high-quality content rather than trying to optimize for any particular Google algorithm.”
Mr. Singhal also indicated a site’s rankings can be affected by “low-quality content” or “low-quality pages” on just some portions of a site.
“We’re continuing to work on additional algorithmic iterations to help webmasters operating high-quality sites get more traffic from search,” he added. “As you continue to improve your sites, rather than focusing on one particular algorithmic tweak, we encourage you to ask yourself the same sorts of questions we ask when looking at the big picture.”
My sense about Google’s announcement: Amen.
It confirms that value counts. There are no shortcuts for ranking success – only high quality content on a frequent basis to complement your other search-engine optimization strategies.
From the Coach’s Corner, if you want to stay current with Google’s webmaster updates, see: Webmaster Help Forum – Google.
“A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.”
– Francis Bacon