Google says - ask yourself these questions

After the recent panda update, engineers at google released a blog post with some guidance on what counts as high quality content.


When it comes to SEO, the  best mantra is to optimize website for a better user experience.


In that post, google engineer Amit Singal posted some questions that we must ask ourselves while developing web sites.

Let us analyze these questions and try to figure out what we can do to meet those specifications:



  • Question: "Would you trust the information presented in this article?"
  • Some of the factors that influence the "trust" factor:
    Site design a good website design with neat design and good color combination should be used. A website with images certainly seems more trustable  than a plain HTML website using flashy colors. Brand name This certainly is important. People usually tend to click more on site names they already know about. Wikipedia, About.com, YouTube are some examples which are recognized more as compared to other websites.
    • Question: "Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?"
      Once we read an article we tend to ask ourselves weather we should trust it or not.
      An article should contain information about the author, his qualifications and experience. It improves the article's credibility.

      So make it a point to mention author details along with the content, e author with verifiable and believable credibility.


    • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?

      Google has repeated it many times that sites with duplicate and scraped content will be penalized. Sure, you can take risk and go ahead about build sites using bulk PLR content. But it

      If you have any pages on your website which repeat the same content, delete the extra copies. It is pretty evident that duplicate content, even on the same domain is going to get negative impact on your website


    • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
      Not all websites are trust-able enough to give credit card information. Especially if your website is new you can do following to encourage people to use credit card on your website

      Use Logos of payment gateway: If your payment gateway allows you must put the logo on the payment page. People who buy online usually identify the popular payment processors like paypal, google checkout etc.

      You can even use logos of Visa, mastercard etc if you accept them.

      SSL Certificate: Many regular online buyers know about SSL and would trust a website if they see SSL certificate. Even some web browsers warn people if the SSL certificate is not valid on a website.

      Highlight customer care section in details: When people buy stuff online they would like to know where the company is physically located. They also like to know how can they contact the customer care section just in case if there is any trouble in the payment process. A live chat feature or Toll Free number highlighted somewhere near navigation menu is a good sign of credibility.


    • Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
      This is very evident, as human beings we can make mistakes while writing. But it is a lot more easier to spot mistakes. Spelling errors creates a bad impression.

      What you can do
      - Use spell checkers- there are many spell checkers available as software in Microsoft word and elsewhere. It is wise to use them as they will catch the mistakes fast for you

      - Calculate flesch reading score - Flesch reading score is a tool that measures text's readability. If the text is more readable people will spend more time reading it.



    • "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?"
      One of the common mistake by web designers and content writers is that they repeat the keywords everywhere in the website.

      It is easy for Google's algorithm to find pages that repeat same set of keywords. It is hence advisable to maintain a good keyword ratio.




    • "Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?"
      This topic is discussed in our previous post.   You should not just repeat the post.




    • "Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?"

      Some simple and easy ways to add value:
       -- Add relevant external links Link to related sources of information. It will help visitors to find more information on the subject.
      --- Add images, a single picture is equal to thousand words.




    • "How much quality control is done on content?"
      Quality control refers to reduce redundancies, repetition, and mistakes.



    • "Does the article describe both sides of a story?"Generally, good journalism provides information on both sides of the story and let the readers decide on what they think about an issue.

      It is advisable to present facts rather than trying to make conclusions in your writing.




    • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
      Certainly, here Google engineer is pointing out to article spinners and re-written articles that don't add any value to website.



    • Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?Good editing is MUST for good readability.




    • For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?If you are running a health related website, you must back up claims through either mentioning the writer's qualifications. Another good way is by quoting authoritative external sources.




    • Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
      This question translates to the fact that long articles which contain more information and cover all aspects of the topic will get better value.

      So you must write more detailed and informational content that covers everything!



    • Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
      Some things we can do to make articles more interesting-

      - share facts-  facts and figures are always more interesting in general. If you are writing about increasing facebook popularity, then it would be nice to share how many users of facebook has increased over past.

      Show images Use images that are relevant to the topic.




    • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend? - This usually happens when a website contains really valuable information. People share information when they find it worthy enough.




    • Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
       Some websites that are full of advertisements look cluttered and sometimes its even hard to differentiate between navigation links and ads.

      People find it obtrusive and leave the page without clicking around too much.



    • Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
      If an article is published in a printed media then the writer and editor would check thoroughly for any mistakes about errors.




    • Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics? Articles that are not helpful and do not explain the specific contents are not going to get higher ranking in search engines.



    • Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail? 
      To make pages interesting and more usable you must do some sort of thinking and planning on how to design the page. You should plan properly on how and where to put related links on the website.



    • Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
      People complain when they are not able to find information easily and when they are greeted with a cluttered interface. So a clean interface should be liked by all.




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