In recent months Google has made updates to its algorithm. Improving search ranking quality has been a core reason for these changes. The algorithm update, known as Panda, was designed to lower the ranking for content farms like Demand Media. In a rare move Google has
published a blog post on its Webmaster Central Blog
, that offers some insights and suggestions for websites to rank well in a post-Panda world.
Of course, Google doesn't offer details about the algorithm change. Instead, it provides recommendations to website owners and more specific guidance for ranking well.
10 Questions From Google to Improve Search Traffic
The following questions are some of the most important posed by Google in its blog post advising on the Panda update.
Would you trust the information presented in this article?
Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
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 this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
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 the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
Is this the sort of page you’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?
If you read all of the questions above, the one common theme is quality. It has long been known that quality content is important, but these questions help illustrate the fine-grain aspects of content. These questions suggest that original content should be well-written and include analysis beyond basic info that exists on other websites.
Social Media Sharing Impacts Search
Take a look at question 9. Google is all but telling you that social signals are being used to determine if a website is a content farm. Social signals like tweets, Facebook Likes, LinkedIn shares act like votes. Google can use these signals similarly to inbound links as a proxy for the content quality on a page.
According to their blog post,
Google will make 500 search engine improvements in 2011
. The only thing constant in search engine optimization is change. As a marketer looking to maintain and boost search traffic, you need to pay close attention to the questions Google asks. When thinking about a content strategy, plan for identifiers that make content unique and high-quality. Make sure to include social sharing buttons with your content to prompt users to share your content more.
What do you think is the most interesting question Google shared in this post?
Originally published May 9, 2011 2:07:00 PM, updated July 28 2017