What is low quality content? Just ask Google

Panda update

Before I go into an explanation of what low quality content is, let’s look back at the infamous Google Panda update which was rolled out in 2011 and was one of more than 500 updates during that year.

How is Panda linked to low quality content?

It’s the official name that describes the Google algorithm update, developed to reduce the prevalence of thin, low quality content in search. If your site was seen to have low quality content you would have been penalised and conversely, if your site had unique and compelling content, you would have been rewarded in search.

Google’s algorithms are based on helping people to find good quality sites by reducing the ranking of sites they consider to contain low quality content.

Another piece of advice from Google that’s worth noting:  low quality content on even some pages on your site, can impact the whole site’s ranking, so I would suggest if you have any pages that are not up to scratch, offer no substance or value, rewrite them so they are Google proof, or delete them altogether.

Here are just a few of the questions the algorithm was based on:

  • has the post been written by an expert who knows the subject well, or is it low quality and of no particular substance?
  • has the content been put together well or it is sloppy writing and produced without fact and knowledge?
  • does the post include any insights or analysis that goes beyond the obvious?
  • is it the sort of site you would be prepared to recommend or share?
  • are the posts short, unsubstantial and lacking in value?
  • are you communicating truthfully and not misleading your audience?
  • are you writing frequently?

Get into Google’s mindset and skip the low quality content

Google’s algorithm is a complicated, complex and evolving art and science, so rather than get caught up in this, you would better off putting your energy into producing what Google wants: the best possible user experience for people who land on your website.

get into Google's mindset and forget low quality content

 

And you can do this by creating high quality content.

Sharing your knowledge about things you are qualified to share is a great way to get new readers. Develop a good mindset that focuses on passing on your knowledge and providing solutions through your content.

Write down some of the problems your customers ask about, how you have solved them and use them to create a case study blog post.

Do keyword research on what your customers are searching for and use these insights to create content.

Google craves quality content and if you play nice Google will recognise this and rank your site higher in search.

How do you create high quality content?

There are as many answers to this as there are writers and readers of content.

But all you need to think about is:  Google wants their customers to have a quality experience.

And if creating content is a new thing for you, you may start out writing very average stuff (we’ve all done it) and think it’s good.. and then you gradually get better at it. There’s value in persistence.

“The first draft is just you telling the story.” – Terry Pratchett

There is a plethora of advice, tips and techniques online where you can learn how to write and produce high quality, unique content, so get cracking! Find a blog you resonate with and learn from the experts. They know what works and what doesn’t, they’ve made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to and you can learn from these top content creators.

A good piece of content has to resonate and strike at the heart of both the writer and the reader

You will learn as you go along and keep this in mind:  there is a reader for every style of writing. So find your own style and your writing will flow naturally.

It’s simple:  write how you speak.

Show your personality.

Don’t be afraid to own your words.

Have an opinion – you don’t have to agree with everyone – be controversial if that’s who you are!

You might be thinking how long should a post be?

As long as it takes you to get your point across, no more, no less and definitely no waffling!

Always add some visuals – too boring otherwise.

Edit and proof, edit and proof, edit and proof. If your writing is full of grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, long blocks of words which are hard to read – be assured people won’t read it.

And Google won’t rank it.

If you create the best possible experience for your readers with high quality, original content, people will come back and revisit your site, and link to your content on their websites. All these techniques over time, attract more people to your site.

NB:  Your content should be primarily to give your audience a good experience, if you do this, you will rank well in search.

Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any. – Orson Scott

If you would like to discuss how we can help you with your content writing or your marketing goals feel free to contact us here.

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Midge Hand is a Co-founder and Director of High Profile Enterprises. Midge is one of only around 50 Copyblogger Media Certified Content Marketers and is the only one in New Zealand. When away from the demands of running High Profile Enterprises, Midge enjoys time with family, cooking for friends, Pilates and paddle boarding. This year her new challenge is to learn to play the melodica.

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