We all know Google has updated its search index algorithm which has stirred up much discussion between webmasters and SEOs in the past weeks. The Panda / Farmer update did somethingâ€™s to the algorithm in order to improve user experience in the search engine and try to get rid of much duplicate content and thin content on the web by pushing certain websites out of the prominent rankings.
We never hear much from the horseâ€™s mouth (Google) when it comes to what updates have been done to the algorithm because anything they say, people will analyze and once again begin to game the search engine for better website rankings.
In a post on Friday, May 6, 2011, Google posted a blog article in the Google Webmaster Blog outlining the guidelines to building high quality websites. Weâ€™ve known for a very long time, those of us who keep up with search engine optimization, which Google is all about content quality and making sure you serve high quality, unique content to users and the web.
Here are some points that were made in the blog post which I strongly recommend you read. I would also like to state that from our current knowledge of search engine optimization and best practices for website building, Google didnâ€™t really touch on any ground breaking points that would cause me to believe right now that this is anything new but just more enforcement on their currently believes of what will make the Google search index a better search engine which comes down to good content and good link building.
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?
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?
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 donâ€™t get as much attention or care?
Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
Is this the sort of page youâ€™d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
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?
Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
These are some of the questions posted by Google regarding creating a great quality web page and questions they ask themselves when developing a better search algorithm. From these questions, I have found some that do provide some sense in possible signals that Google may be looking from here on in.
1) Is this sort of page youâ€™d want to bookmark or share with a friend? This comes to understanding the social web and how Google is now judging content. If you have a website, ecommerce site or blog, they want to see that your content is not only linked to from web sources but it is being shared around the web. It is very important you add the like Facebook button as well as the new Facebook share button.
2) Does this article have an excessive amount of ads? It seems that they are also penalizing or cracking down on thin content and evaluating the amount of ads (maybe java script code) on a website in ratio to content. Did you write a few sentences and have 4 Adsense blocks? Well now you know Google is looking at this as it has been a form of spam for a very long time. I like this!
3) Would users complain about your website? Maybe Google is starting to manually look at spam reports and judging quality of a website if a spam report comes in. Not too sure on how thatâ€™s been handled over the past few years but maybe thereâ€™s a bigger effort to work with users to clean the web up.