You’ll have heard by now that quality content is king, but if you ask SEOs what quality content is, you’ll receive a variety of answers. Quality is subjective, and each person views it differently.
The baseline for quality content usually involves word count, be it 300 words, 600, 1,000 or 2,000. But more content doesn’t always mean better content.
Another approach is to push for relevancy. The problem with this is that low-quality pages can still be relevant.
Is there even a correct answer to the question?
Turn to the masters
Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines highlight a number of positive signals for quality content:
- Build pages for users, not for search engines
- Don’t deceive users
- Avoid tricks intended to improve search rankings
- Ask yourself: “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
- Make your website stand out from the crowd
Google suggests you should give the following techniques a wide berth:
- Automatically generated content
- Unnatural link schemes
- Pages with little or no original content
- Sneaky redirects
- Hidden text or links
- Participating in affiliate programs without adding value
- Pages with irrelevant keywords
- Creating pages with malicious intent, such as phishing or installing viruses
- Abusing rich snippet markup
Google also provides some tips on how to make your site useful, credible and engaging in the guidelines; however, when it comes to serving up quality content, the company doesn’t offer specific advice.
Putting pen to paper
As you begin to build a content block, make sure your website is:
- Useful and informative
- Offers unique value compared to your competitors
- Highlights your credibility through research, citations, links and testimonials
- Offers content that is targeted and of a high standard – avoid mass-produced or outsourced copy
Mapping the journey
Content discovery always starts with query intent. Then it’s a case of matching your page to the information the user needs to qualify as a match.
Everyone has their own way of doing things, but we choose to add our own expertise and opinions to content. In this game, it’s important to know what has been said, but it’s far more important to add insight into what hasn’t.