Saturday, February 11, 2023
Ever since Google started indexing pages for search results, I has been refining it's search algorithm to ensure that overall, they are delivering on their mission to present relevant and authoritative content to searchers.
That's their core mission so when it came to answering the question of "How to assess if your content is valuable" I went to Google to see how they determine value of each and every page on the internet.
Here is the set of questions they provided that you can use to ask yourself about your content to better understand it's quality.
Each of the questions are broken down into general Content and quality questions, Expertise questions, Presentation and production questions and Comparative questions.
Does the content provide original information, reporting, research or analysis?
Original content is valuable just for it's originality as long as there is good substance.
Does the content provide a substantial, complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
Long form, well written and complete content on a specific topic is important for the reader and for the search engines.
If your content is more complete than your competition, then google search will reward you for it.
Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious? If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?
So many people copy, paste and update content and just publish, rarely adding any insightful or interesting information to the content.
Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content and avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?
Write headlines that hook your audience to make them want to read more.
Clickbait can be damaging if you don't deliver on the statements you are making in your headlines.
Is this the sort of page you'd want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
If you wouldn't share or bookmark the link to your content, it's probably not too valuable. Knowing who your target reader is
Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
If you want to get lots of people viewing or watching your content, you have to create content worthy of established publications like printed magazines or other publications.
Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site's About page?
Building trust online s much harder than in the real world so with content online, you need to build trust with your audience.
Some key things to make sure you have on your website is about page with details about you and your origin story.
If you researched the site producing the content, would you come away with an impression that it is well-trusted or widely-recognized as an authority on its topic?
This is a feeling you should have when looking at the presentation of the content. Do you feel good about the content and the author.
Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?
Experts can write well about their core subjects so when you consume content it feels like an
Does the content have any easily-verified factual errors?
Tell the truth. If you don't and people see you telling white lies of untruthful content, it's going to hurt your brand and your search results ranking.
Would you feel comfortable trusting this content for issues relating to your money or your life?
This is a pretty straight forward question. If the answer is no, the content needs to be fixed.
Does the content have any spelling or stylistic issues?
Nothing decreases trust and expertise like spelling and bad grammar.
Make sure your content is well written and formatted for maximum readability.
Does the content have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
Some news and content-focused websites are littered with ads and all kinds of distracting content.
Sites like this tend to have a lower perceived value to the visitor and to Google too.
Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
If you were to put your content up against a competing article
Does the content seem to be serving the genuine interests of visitors to the site or does it seem to exist solely by someone attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
Authenticity and intention is the secret here. Are you making content for search engines or are you making content for your readers. Google can tell and so can your readers so don't do it.
Valuable content provides value and if it's not doing that then it's not going to be effective.
Hope these questions can help you self assess if your content is valuable both for your target audience and for the Google search algorithm.