All change: Google again sets targets on content with ‘Quality Update’
Webmasters and online marketing gurus of the world, take note: Google is at it again, ramping up its efforts to make the vast expanse that is the world wide web even better. It means even more emphasis is being placed on the quality of content on websites, which will have major implications for brands and how they portray themselves online.
Google has not officially confirmed that it has carried out a “quality content” update to its search algorithm, but out across the web in recent days, publishers have started to notice a change in their rankings, meaning only one thing. What the search engine giant has said, however, is that it has altered its main algorithm to factor in a variety of so-called “signals” that it uses in determining what is quality content and what is not.
Some in the tech press are calling the change the “Quality Update”, and a whole array of sites have been experiencing differences in their search rankings, and therefore their traffic. As usual when Google alters its ranking criteria, some publishers have gained while others have fallen way down the page, leaving them wondering just what they can do to climb back up.
So what can you do if your site has taken a hit, or if you want to improve its contents and get higher rankings? The answers lie in what Google considers a good-quality website. In a lengthy list on its blog, the company explains what it bases its algorithm changes on when aiming for high-quality content. These include the trust factor – is what’s presented on a webpage trustworthy or weak and just not credible? Also, keywords – yes, those often problematic combinations of marketing words that have led to all sorts of difficulties for websites. Try and fool Google now with different arrangements of keywords on a site, and you’re likely to suffer.
What else is Google looking for? All the other usuals: authority in a subject area, quality control of content (which includes professional writing and editing) and that dreaded duplicate copy (swipe something from somewhere else and you’ll know all about it by the time Google crawls your site).
You can read more about Google’s quality requirements here.