(Read Time: 3 Minutes)
Can you honestly tell me that your current website has high quality content on it?
Is it a site that YOU yourself would want to read?
There's been a lot of pandemonium (no pun intended, see below) in the last few weeks regarding important changes to the way Google ranks websites.
We've all known for quite some time, especially intuitively, that creating a high-quality website with great content, is the true way to win the hearts and minds of your target audience.
But never has that been thoroughly backed up more powerfully by Google's own search team than in the last several months as they worked hard to rid their search results of "empty" and "spammy" content.
You know these sites as those you would typically find when you searched for something like "How to get rid of a cold" and other topics where you were slammed with generic, repetitive and frankly, poorly written content in the first 10 results.
Google finally did something about it in what was called the "Farmer/Panda" update:
- "Farmer" because it was designed to get rid of "content farm" websites whose sole purpose was to get ranked on the search engines with sometimes vapid and excruciatingly crappy content.
- "Panda" because that is the name of the Google engineer who came up with the algorithm to help solve this problem.
Why is this important for your business?
There are many reasons, but chief among them is simply because if you hire outside writers for your SEO, blog or website ad copy that aren't experts, enthusiasts or otherwise have a vested interest in creating amazing content, you WILL get penalized for said junky content as it gets churned out without being of the very highest caliber.
Some Quick Guidelines:
Here are a few of the guidelines Google listed on their blog that guide you through the process of knowing if your website is being viewed by Google's algorithm as a "spammy" or low quality website:
- Would you trust the information presented in this article?
- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
- Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
- Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
- Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
- Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
- and many more that I highly recommend you read here:
The Bottom Line:
If you want your company to rank higher in the search engines, it isn't nearly enough to "know" how to optimize your website or content.
Rather, it's vital that you now provide something of REAL value to your target customers and audience.
Intuitively we all "knew" this already, but now more than ever, Google is making sure that you don't take the easy way out and throw up some junk to try and rank quickly, but rather, put the necessary time and effort into creating a dedicated online presence that adds real value to those on the Internet.
It comes down to the golden rule:
Would YOU want to read your own content?
If the answer is no, then you better do something about it immediately, before Google does it for you!