Google has updated its guidance for Core Algorithm Updates by adding four key question areas that brands should focus on to ensure that content meets criteria to feature in search results. The latest advice is the most comprehensive ever published.
Google was criticised in some quarters earlier in the summer after its June algorithm change resulted in several major websites experiencing a notable drop in traffic. While the new guidelines are unlikely to be a direct reaction to the fallout, they are designed to make it easier for brands to judge the quality of their own content.
The four areas or “questions” to consider to improve content for search are “content and quality”, “expertise”, “presentation and production” and “comparative”. The weight for each of these signals has not been divulged, so brands should take a broad look at each and optimise accordingly.
Google says that content and quality basically boils down to whether a particular article or webpage is deemed good enough to be bookmarked, shared with a friend, or even feature in a printed magazine or encyclopaedia. Meanwhile, “expertise” calls for factual errors to be corrected and author credentials to be outlined.
Next up, “presentation and production” touches on the user experience, whether there is excessive use of ads and whether content displays correctly on mobile, for example. Finally, “comparative” asks whether content provides “substantial value”.
The guidance concludes: “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?”