Google’s “Quality Update”
Google’s getting serious about search engine rankings, and this year, it all has to do with content quality.
Years ago, marketers scrambled to keyword stuff websites so they’d rank high in searches. But Google has been slowly dismantling this manipulation of the system, and earlier this year their “Phantom Update” (AKA “Quality Update”) is just the latest in a string of changes they’re making.
What Exactly Is the “Phantom Update”?
Everything started back in May. A few popular websites like Hubpages were starting to notice significant drops in traffic. Naturally, theories circulated about possible ranking signal changes at Google. But it took two weeks for the company to finally own up.
And basically they just said, “Yeah, we changed some things.” They really didn’t give specifics, thus the ghostly name of the update.
Fortunately, we know from the past that Google’s constant goal has always been to improve the user experience. So this “Phantom Update” (now dubbed the “Quality Update”) is simply about rewarding sites that put an emphasis on quality, user-friendly content.
Sites with better quality content will have a higher ranking in searches than those who skimp on quality.
But the question remains: How exactly do you improve your content quality to meet Google’s new standards? Start by checking out these do’s and don’ts.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Upping Your Copy Game
- Don’t Skimp on Blog Posts
We all know that consistently new content is good for your ratings, but don’t just post nonsense to put something new out there. Take time with each new post, or better yet, hire a professional.
- Do Offer High Quality Content
When SEO first became a thing, Google algorithms looked mostly for keywords. But today, human elements are taking priority. Sites that have high quality content and actually help readers and answer in-demand questions will rank the highest.
- Don’t Repeat Content
In the same vein, unique content is rewarded by Google. Obviously, exactly duplicated content is frowned upon (especially if it’s from a site that’s not yours), but even slightly “spun” content from your own site can mark you down.
- Do Use Formatting Techniques
Google loves bullet points, numbered lists, and headline text in different sizes. That’s because text formatted with these elements is much easier and more pleasant to read. Each of your pages should employ these techniques.
- Don’t Use “Doorway Pages”
Doorway pages are sneaky websites or pages or that some sites employ to get higher search rankings and receive more traffic. Google doesn’t like them, and they’re not recommended.
- Do Use Proper Spelling & Grammar
Don’t worry, one typo won’t make your site fall to page 6 of a Google search, but you should still make an effort to maintain proper spelling and grammar on every page. Not only will Google recognize this, but also visitors to your webpage will surely appreciate it.
- Don’t Have Too Many Ad Links
Ads may make offer additional revenue, but lots of them can hurt your Google rankings. It’s all about the users here. No one wants to have to dodge fifty ads to read your content. So bulk up on good content, and cut down on unnecessary affiliate links.
Our copywriting services take all of these factors into account and more, so if your website could benefit from some content renovation, let us know! We’d be happy to look over your current copy and let you know where we can help.