We often hear it said that search engines are always on the look out for high-quality websites. They promote these sites and give them a higher ranking on the results pages. Google is renowned for pursuing this policy relentlessly after the algorithm changes of the Panda update. But have you ever considered what this actually means? What exactly is a high-quality website? Is it a snazzy-looking one with all the necessary bells and whistles that dazzles? Well, actually it might be, but that isn’t really the point. What Google and other search engines are looking for is high-quality content: content that’s relevant, interesting, unique and easy to read. Well, if that’s the case, then it should be easy enough to provide this, shouldn’t it? You might think so, but in fact providing unique and entertaining content for any website takes graft, determination and more than a little bit of skill. It’s got to be worked at and honed down to a fine art. So, how do you perfect the art of producing high-quality content consistently?
No search engine company will ever reveal the exact details of the algorithm they use to determine website ranking in the search listings. Clearly they don’t want the more unsavoury and unscrupulous element manipulating sites to garner undeserved high rankings: this would simply reflect badly on the reputation of the search engine company. However, what search engines do offer is advice: advice that, if followed, will put your website in a much stronger position.
So what is this advice?
When you are creating or reviewing content with the aim of improving your site as part of an SEO program, then you should consider the following factors if you want to be confident of generating high-quality content:
- Provide information that is unique and genuinely interesting: entertain and inform at the same time.
- Don’t have duplicated content on different pages saying the same thing using different words
- Spell and Grammar check everything: poor grammar and bad spelling will definitely loose you brownie points.
- Try to place an original or personal perspective on the information: give your opinions, not somebody else’s,
- Present a balanced view of the topic: show both sides of the argument.
- Create content worth bookmarking: work at it until you get the right sort of balance, and people will come back to your site time and again.
- Provide specific, in-depth information of value to the readers.
- Always credit your sources, and don’t pass off their information as your own.
By concentrating your efforts on producing high-quality content, you will produce a high-quality website that performs well in the search engine rankings for your chosen keywords. This is an evolving approach to search engine optimisation that no longer focuses purely on link building and targeting factors known to be relevant in the search engine algorithms. It is still, however, important to optimise for those known factors, but the focus on high-quality content is the way to organically improve your website and develop your business.
But one last point to bear in mind is that search engines view a site as a whole, so poor quality pages may adversely affect the site’s otherwise excellent ranking, and drag its reputation down. This can still be the case even if there are still many individual high-quality pages. Aim to enhance all of your pages, but where this isn’t possible, remove the low quality pages until you get a chance to improve them.