Google SEO Quality Ratings
What is Website Quality and Why is it Important to Google?
Early 2011 and on into 2012 saw the most extensive changes to Google’s search “algorithm” in the last several years. And now after Google’s 2011 “Panda updates” and more recent “Penguin updates”, Google has made many changes, not the least of which is to incorporate a quality rating for each website in its database. For many years Google has tried hard to find ways of measuring website “quality” so they could present the best possible search results for users. These new updates have gone far to make that a reality.
Google looks at numerous factors to calculate their “website quality” rating. However, unlike PageRank, they do not make website quality ratings public. However, it’s clear that they primarily consider the amount of time visitors spend on the site a major indicator, and this derives from factors that increase website “stickiness”, such as video, animations, and slide shows, fast web page load times, freshness of content, correct spelling and grammar, and related factors. Essentially, the more interesting and extensive your website content, the longer people will stay on your site and the higher Google will rank your site.
Their is also a technical aspect to Google’s quality ratings, based on a number of measurable factors, as indicated below.
What are the Major Factors Google Uses to Determine Website Quality?
Engaging Quality Content
- Average time spent on the site by visitors, i.e., “stickiness”
- Unique, well-written, persuasive and useful text content
- Meaningful headlines, bullet points, and call-outs
- Quality videos, animations, slide shows, and galleries
- Testimonials, case studies, and FAQ’s
- Extensive content, especially unique content, articles and blog entries
- Well organized with good navigation and lots of internal links
- Links to social media, especially Facebook, Google Plus, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn
- Fast page load times
- Correct spelling and grammar
- Few if any html errors
- Quality hosting, not low-cost hosting with thousand of websites on the same server
- Long-term domain ownership, especially .COM
- No advertisements, especially on the Home page
- Minimal if any duplicate content
- Contact info and address on every page
Most businesses can find a lot things on these lists to improve their websites. It does take some effort, but the results are well worth the effort. And we can help.
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