Did you notice traffic from your website dropping over the summer? It may have been because of the latest algorithm updates that Google may have been rolling out. True to form the search engine hasn’t confirmed or denied either way that there were updates.
The chatter from the SEO community, however, is that there were updates on 17 May, 25 June, 10 July and 19 August.
Some analysts say they have seen sites dropping or surging which have been previously affected by other quality updates. They believe the updates have therefore been focussing on quality content.
Google’s John Mueller has explained before that if a website performs well technically then it’s likely that the content needs to be looked at if traffic has fallen.
But why is it important to offer quality content? For the vast majority of websites, Google brings the most amount of targeted inbound traffic. Even if you feel you are using your website as an online brochure, it still makes sense that your site offers the best user experience with fresh, original and targeted content.
It could make all difference between turning a visitor into a customer. Regular quality and original content helps builds trust. And how many businesses can afford to turn away leads from the search engines anyway?
The term quality content is vague but what does Google actually mean by it? Google says: “be more valuable or high-quality.” – which is still pretty vague.
If you look at Google Webmasters it does give some guidelines on areas to avoid such as creating pages with little or no original content.
There are, though, few references on what positive signals Google looks for.
The Content Marketing Institute suggests to:
Focus on a great user experience. The best thing you can do for quality is to create a great experience for users. The quality guidelines call for a “satisfying user experience on the page and website.”
Produce content regularly. Google says: “a high-quality rating requires a satisfying amount of website information.”
Interact with other authoritative and relevant sources – references, recognised resources
Make sure that you have contact information on your site such as name, address, phone number etc.
Even if you start creating content regularly, it’s worth remembering that it could take time before Google re-assesses your website.
By adding fresh, original and relevant content – even if you are not relying on Google for traffic – should help to build trust with visitors and also help turn them into customers.
Tim qualified as a journalist in 1994 from the University For The Creative Arts (Farnham) and has written and marketed for businesses and organisations – including Central Government – since then. You can see examples of his recent work here.
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