Google are constantly updating their algorithms to bring content that is high-quality, informative, and trustworthy to the top of their results page. Google won’t ever reveal what exactly affects these rankings, but through trial and error content creators can find out what works and what doesn’t.
To rank better, it’s important to understand what Google considers to be helpful content. You should evaluate your content against a series of questions such as:‘does your content provide original information?’ or ‘does it have any spelling mistakes?’ This will help you ensure that your content is more likely to rank well in search results and reach a wider audience.
What is helpful content?
Google defines helpful content as content that is created with the user in mind. It is content that is informative, accurate, and relevant to the user’s search query. Also, it is material that is well-written and easy to understand. Google has provided some content and quality questions for content creators to evaluate their posts against:
- Does the content provide original information?
- Does the content provide a complete description of the topic?
- If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid plagiarising them?
- Does the main heading or page title provide a descriptive summary of the content?
- Does the main heading or page title avoid exaggeration or being shocking in nature?
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
- Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia, or book?
- Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- Does the content have any spelling, grammatical or stylistic issues?
- Is the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- Is the content mass-produced by, or outsourced to, many creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
Coupling positive answers to these questions with a great page experience for the user in your finished content is a surefire way to putting your website on track to ranking well.
What Not to Do When Crafting Content
But what about what not to do when crafting content?
Google has made it clear that providing content solely to feed the search engine will not only be ineffective, but in fact worse than user focused content. The tell-tale signs that content is there to serve the search engine rather than the consumer is to indulge in spamming or stuffing keywords into website content in the vague hope of a higher rank.
Here are a couple other things you should avoid in your website’s content:
- Don’t create content that is primarily focused on ranking well in search engines. As mentioned, Google can tell when content is written for the benefit of search engines rather than for humans. Focus on creating content that is genuinely helpful and informative to your audience – not a key word stuffed article that does little to serve the person reading it.
- Don’t plagiarise other people’s content. It is a serious offence and can result in your content being removed from Google Search.
- Don’t create content that is misleading or spammy. This includes content that is full of keywords, makes false claims, or is intended to farm link clicks.
Experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness, or E-E-A-T for short, is a mix of measures that Google uses to determine the websites with the most helpful, relevant and appropriate content. EEAT isn’t an individual ranking factor for Google; instead it’s a mix of factors and criteria that help align content with the different signals that Google uses to rank websites.
By following the tips above, you can create helpful content that is more likely to rank well in Google Search and serve a user’s search query effectively. Remember, the most important thing to focus on is creating content that is genuinely helpful and informative to your users first, then the search engine.