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How Does Google Define Quality Content?

If you were to ask a room of digital marketing specialists to define the term quality content, you’d likely get a different answer from every person.

Every specialist has his or her own idea of what content is strong enough to bring in traffic.

But at the end of the day, it isn’t these specialists who ultimately decide what is and isn’t quality. On the contrary, in fact, it isn’t necessarily a person at all.

The only opinion you should concern yourself with is Google’s.

Why? Google has a history of drawing more users than any other engine and even organic inbounds. Don’t take our word for it, look at how many searches occur per second.

Read on to learn what you should and shouldn’t do to generate quality content that’ll drive up your ranking.

How to Create Quality Content

1. Get familiar with Google Webmaster

The biggest advantage you can give yourself over the competition is knowledge. Yes, we all know that knowledge is power, but it’s a necessity in today’s digital market.

To properly compete in cyberspace, make sure you’re familiar with Google Webmasters. While Google may seem like an all-knowing Big Brother-type figure, they’ve made it easy to follow their guidelines.

In fact, they’ll walk you through how to create content that fits within their standards. Their guidelines may be strict, but at least they’re easy to discover.

Before you even begin your content overhaul, make sure you’ve spent some time with the site. Or if you’re completely new to digital marketing, be sure to take one of their free Webmasters courses.

A little research can go a long way.

2. Write Clear and Readable Content

You may consider this a given, but bear with us a moment. You may have the writing skills of Hemingway, but if you can’t write for your audience you won’t draw eyes.

Be sure that you format your content properly as well.

Our attention spans seem to be a bit shorter these days, so your content needs to be scannable. If people can skim through your article and get the basic idea, you’ve created quality content.

3. Social Integration

You don’t have to be an experienced marketing expert to know how important social media is. With millions of users on Twitter and Facebook, you can’t afford to ignore these channels.

Google would seem to agree, as they’ve begun taking social standings into account.

Be sure that your content is shareable. Many websites offer plug-ins or simple social integration tools. Setting it up should be as easy as sharing an article on Facebook.

4. Great User Interface

You can have all the great content in the world, but if your website isn’t quick and easy to navigate, Google won’t care.

There are dozens of tools out there to test your website’s mettle, so make sure you’re ready to rank.

A separate but important piece of advice: make sure your website is mobile-friendly. A good mobile site is every bit as important to Google as a great desktop site. They even created an algorithm to ding sites without a mobile experience.

5. Keywords

This last tip is a bit tricky, but once you master it your effort will be rewarded.

Quality content needs to contain relevant keywords to your interests and specialties. For example, if you own a small toy shop in New York, you could write about the best toymakers in New York City.

In this case, your keywords could be something along the lines of ‘toymakers in New York City’. It’s relevant, and best of all, it’s specific.

What to Avoid When Creating Quality Content

1. Auto-Generated Content

We’re not really sure why anyone would think that spamming their own site is a great idea. There are plenty of resources out there to help you generate your own original content.

Google considers auto-generated content to be of a lower quality. If you’re caught, your website can face a hefty penalty lowering your ranking.

This includes scraping or the practice of taking content from other sites and placing it on your own. Even if you link to the proper site, this is often a bad idea. Focus on your own original ideas.

2. Plagiarized or Re-Worded Content

A quick note, we’re not talking about recycled content. This is a practice that takes concepts you’ve already written about and elaborates.

We’re talking either copying and pasting content (it happens, believe it or not) or re-using your own content. If you’re truly out of ideas, it’s okay to repost an old article every now and then.

Share it on social media to grab some fresh attention, even.

Not only is stealing wrong from an ethical standpoint, your site will be slapped with a penalty.

3. Hidden Links

One of the most despicable mistakes you can make is to mislead your audience. If you’re trying to sell them something, or want more inbound sales, that’s fine.

Just be upfront about it.

Never under any circumstances should you hide links within your content. Hidden links are considered misleading and one of the worst offenses to Google.

Hyperlinks are an integral bit of the SEO experience, just use them in a manner that feels honest.

4. A Slow Website

Google takes your website’s speed into account.

You might not factor performance into quality content, but it’s part of usability.

Google wants to reward websites that are user-friendly, easy to navigate, and fast. When you’re tailoring your content, always create with your audience in mind.

Get a second opinion if you need to. The important thing is that you don’t penalize your website by making a simple error.

The slower the website, the lower the ranking. Prioritize your website’s speed and tailor images and coding.

5. Pages With Little Content

You’ve put all that time and effort into creating a strong website, why would you leave it empty?

Google is always looking to focus on websites that feature several pages of rich content.

You can’t have quality content if you have no content, to begin with. Even if your pages only feature a few posts or your contact information, a full site is a quality site.

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