SEO | What does High Quality Mean to Google?

Earlier this year, Google implemented search algorithm changes designed to help people obtain higher-quality, more meaningful search results.

What does that mean?

A recent article on the Google Webmaster Central Blog provides more guidance. It includes 23 big-picture questions that help shape the company's quality assessment algorithm.

To make these questions more useful, we’ve divided them into two broad categories and streamlined the wording to create a handy checklist.

Quality Content (Articles)
  • Do you trust the information?
  • Is content written by an expert or knowledgeable enthusiast?
  • Are there spelling, style or factual errors?
  • Do they provide original content, information, reporting, research or analysis?
  • Is quality control apparent?
  • Do articles describe both sides of the story?
  • Are articles mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators?
  • Are articles well-edited or sloppy and hastily produced?
  • Do articles provide a complete description of the topic?
  • Do articles contain insightful analysis or new, interesting information?
  • Are articles cluttered with ads that distract?
  • Would the articles be published in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  • Are articles short, insubstantial or lacking in specifics?

Quality Framework (Page or Site)
  • Is there duplicate, overlapping or redundant material with slight variations on the same keywords?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to the site?
  • Do topics reflect readers’ interests or appear to be driven by what might rank well in search engines?
  • Does it provide substantial value compared to other pages in the search results?
  • Is the site a recognized authority on the subject?
  • For a health-related query, would you trust the information?
  • Would you recognize the site name as an authoritative source?
  • Would you bookmark, share or recommend the page/site?
  • Are pages produced with care and attention to detail?
  • Would users complain when they see pages from this site?

You can use this checklist to evaluate quality for your own content and site or that of others.

Google won't reveal precisely how these questions affect search rankings, but many focus on negatives as low-quality indicators. Google continues to refine its criteria to produce better search results for users and help those who create high-value sites get more traffic.

Roughly 65% of all online searches are conducted through Google. Understanding its evolving quality criteria is one way you can create more effective strategies and improve your online findability.


SEO | Is Google Sending Fresh Signals?
SEO | What is Low-Quality Content?
Google Struggles to Define Quality
Quality Content Includes Photos
Finding More High-Quality Sites in Search (Official Google Blog)
More Guidance on Building High-Quality Sites (Google Webmaster Central Blog)

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