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Posted: 13 Apr 2016 08:29 AM PDT
Google started releasing their quality raters’ guidelines to the public last year – the step which you get to admire for its openness and helpfulness (Or they just figured they couldn’t do anything about it because the guidelines kept leaking, so they figured they’d rather build a good PR off that).
The most recent copy can be downloaded here.
The whole document is well worth a read. Here I am sharing my notes of quality signals…
Keep in mind:
Types of Content on the Page and How They Signal of Quality
Google distinguishes three types of content you can find on a page: Main content, Supplemental content and Sponsored content (Ads). Each type contributes to a separate
The main content of the page is what the user comes to a webpage for.
The page main content is the most important quality factor.
Signals of high-quality main content:
Ads and Supplemental Content (e.g. Navigation, Calls-to-Action, etc)
E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness)
It should be noted that there’s no mention of social media following, Klout scores, etc. that could signal of the author’s expertise or influence.
It’s important that a website should have a very good reputation (especially in topics such as medical, financial, or legal advice):
Wikipedia is a good way to check if a website is authoritative. In some industries (recipes, gossip, humor, etc) it’s ok to have a less formal reputation.
It is important to note that raters are encouraged to do independent research on sites and authors they come across, so you may need to check your online reputation and see what they will find.
On-page trust signals may include prominent “About” page, extensive contact information, well-written privacy policies.
These signals are more important for financial and shopping sites but it doesn’t hurt to add these to any site anyway.
A good signal of trust for informational pages is the presence of good references (links to sources) supporting statements in the main content.
What is NOT a signal?
1. Type of the page
Whether it’s a PDF, .edu, etc page or a blog post, a forum threads, etc. doesn’t signal of the quality.
It’s the purpose of the page that determines the rating:
2. The presence or absence of Ads
Just because a page is monetized through ads doesn’t make it a lower-quality page than an ad-free page
3. Freshness of the page
The page can be authored just recently or a few years ago: It is NOT an indicator of the page quality by itself. Stale content can be trustworthy. It all depends on the query and user intent.
Now, go ahead and pretend to be a quality rater of your own website:
How much would it score?
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