Have you dropped in your rankings? With Google’s Quality Update, your content may not measure up.
Quieter than Mobilegeddon, but no less significant, Google’s boringly named “Quality Update” was initially referred to as the “Phantom Update” because of the stealth with which it was first introduced. Now, a couple of months later, rankings are dropping fast for certain sites – and people are realizing that this unassuming little algorithm is what’s pushing them out of the top spots.
What is the “Quality Update?” To put it simply, it assesses the quality of your content and ranks you accordingly. If you’ve got great content, you’re fine. But if you don’t, see ya.
But how does it determine quality content? That’s kind of a subjective thing, isn’t it? (Unsurprisingly, this has been a pretty major point of contention for site owners whose rankings have tanked…) Well, you know Google is all about user experience. They like content that users want to read – stuff that provides genuine value. So sites that provide great info in a way that’s easy to consume are definitely the winners in this game.
The sites that aren’t faring as well are the ones that have significant user-generated content and lots of ads. Which don’t tend to add up to quality content. And Google DEPLORES thin or redundant content. It hates self-starting videos. And 404 pages? Forget about it. They’ll get you dropped like a hot potato.
Here’s how you can ensure your content is “quality:”
- Don’t add content that doesn’t add value. Does it provide real info that answers a question your users might have, or tells them something they wouldn’t know otherwise? If not, turf it. A good example is a landing page that just serves as a doorway to other pages. If it’s doesn’t contain anything useful, it doesn’t need to be there; a well-worded navigation will suffice.
- Lose the annoying ads, stat. Too many ads, pop-ups, auto-play videos make the new algorithm unhappy. If they annoy users, Google hates them too, guaranteed. If you don’t drop those obnoxious elements, you’ll drop in the rankings.
- Be careful with user-generated content. Tell users that overt self-promo and info that’s too general or not useful will be flagged as spam and removed.
- Kill the clutter. Having too many comments, ads and error pages won’t do you any favours, either. If a page isn’t pleasant for YOU to look at, your users won’t like it – and neither will Google.