When it comes to developing a winning social media strategy, Google says quality content is key in terms of earning a higher ranking on their results pages. Since 2011, Google’s most popular ranking algorithms—panda, penguin, and hummingbird, respectively—have been focused on indexing and ranking as much quality content existing on the Internet as possible. Intuitively this makes sense, but it also begs the questions: what exactly is high quality content and how does Google define and/or recognize it?
In order to answer these questions, you first have to understand Google’s ultimate aim for their search engine; how it is evolving; and what steps you can take in order to generate content that is consistently well-written, well-researched, and relevant.
The Endless Evolution of Search
Accounting for 3.5 searches daily, and approximately 1.2 trillion searches per year, Google has surpassed all platforms to become the leading online search engine. Every day, consumers rely on Google to generate the most relevant and reliable results concordant with their specific searches. While there are multiple search engines competing for our attention, Google sends the most traffic to your site, and thus, remains the most popular.
Despite its market dominance, Google must work to maintain its competitive edge over other popular search engines like Bing and Yahoo. Over the past several years, Google has rolled out a series of policy changes and algorithm updates aimed at ranking quality sites higher in search results and demoting and removing lower quality sites. With each new and improved iteration, Google strives to create a more seamless connection between users and the knowledge they seek.
As technology continues to evolve, so too, will Google’s search features. Google wants to be the default search engine; the one that instinctively understands user’s intentions when they ask a question and then immediately provides them with the exact information they want and need. With each new algorithm, Google is making it clear that the focus should be on publishing quality content that is the best of its kind rather than ranking for keywords.
While keywords can provide useful context to your digital content, they have become a bit of a hindrance when it comes to conducting online searches. Without the proper context, the intent and use of your selected keywords may confuse/mislead users, or even direct them to a different website altogether, thereby returning the exact opposite results you want.
Google has decided that keyword-heavy, low-quality content is out; high-quality content is in. Webmasters, content developers, and business owners alike have little choice but to shed their allegiances to traditional SEO tactics and follow Google’s lead.
How Does Google Define Quality Content?
So, how does Google define quality content? While there is no set definition, here are a few factors that Google uses to define quality content:
1. Learn your audience and engage your core clientele. A successful social media strategy begins and ends with consumers, so it is imperative to understand who your target demographic is and how to appeal to them. In other words, create content that establishes trust and credibility among your users.
2. Provide valuable information that users are looking for and will actually benefit from. Be transparent and don’t confuse or mislead users with deceptive titles merely to improve your ranking. Whatever you write about should be informative, interesting, and meaningful.
3. Become a resource. Link to high quality content from other sources and refer to them from your own page to increase the legitimacy of your site.
4. Publish new and innovative content as often as possible. For Google, what you publish is more important than how often you publish, but you should strive to be consistent as possible when it comes to producing fresh content.
5. Differentiate your website as much as possible (especially from those with very similar objectives). Think about what makes your website unique, and create content that emphasizes your individuality.
6. Establish a call to action that allows you to connect and interact with your customers and vice versa. Encourage them to ask questions, leave comments, and share your post — anything to stimulate interest and keep consumers active and engaged.
The Bottom Line
As quality content becomes an increasingly crucial tool for business growth and development, it is necessary not only to have a refined strategy that encompasses the preceding points, but to frequently assess whether your content is helping you meet your short and long-term business goals. Creating quality content that is easy to read and navigate should be your primary goal, and Perfexion, Inc. is here to help! Our qualified professionals specialize in producing high quality content on a consistent basis that can increase your ranking and reputation, while also keeping you in Google’s good graces.