When Google’s Quality Standards Meet Your Business
When running almost any business online, you are always worried about the quality of your content, your offer, and how does it impact the overall ranking of your business. It is never too much worrying about the current Google policies and standards, because, after all, we all depend on their algorithm and requirements. We all want our businesses to be found and on the 1st page of Google, right?
So, lately, there has been a lot of conversation in the online community about recent broad core algorithm changes and the effect it had on various businesses and niches online. A lot of businesses had their rankings and traffic melt overnight and they couldn’t do a thing about it.
What quality standards are we talking about?
Back in the days, Google’s Quality Standards had spread through an unofficial paper in the SEO and Digital Marketing community, until it was officially released in 2015. Marketers could only guess what impact this Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines would have on the different online businesses worldwide.
In short, now it was obvious that Google then had a couple of standards no one should put aside. The first aspect is the value and overall quality of the page, and the second is a set of indicators that directly influence your ratings.
Things evolved since then, a lot of parameters are expanded and now we must take into account a defined set of preconditions to make our website great (again).
One of the must-haves when creating your site's content is to benefit the end-user. You can benefit yourself, but first, you must help the user, create enough value for the people who might search you online.
Over the years, we witnessed the flood of different pages whose main purpose is to rank good or help another site’s rankings. They are not even near to helping users – and with no beneficial purpose, they are completely depending on Google and its rater’s mercy.
If you want your site to rank well, your content must have a beneficial purpose to the user. Your page is valuable to people if the content continues to help and has some unique value and some usefulness. Don't worry if you are running an e-commerce store – that´s also the kind of content that many people search and need online. The highest-quality pages, according to Google, not only have a beneficial purpose, but also manage to achieve it.
Writing and designing good and valuable websites and pages to help your users and grow your audience is one of the most important signals for your page quality ranking. And in contrast to those pages - if you create spammy, disinformative and in any way harmful pages that deceive users, you must expect the lowest ratings.
Things got pretty clear over the years, and nowadays, the beneficial purpose of the site is now somewhat a touchstone requirement. Just be beneficial and treat others as you’d like others to treat you.
Is E-A-T dead and why not?
Now, we are getting more into your website’s content quality. Once it is decided that your website needs to offer some value to its users, it is important to know how useful it is and based on what preferences.
This is where E-A-T, (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) methods come in place. Have you ever wondered, apart from you and your closest circle, who else knows about your references? What reputation stands behind your website's content?
All these words in the E-A-T matter and represent an obligation to create helpful content for your users, from authors with the proper expertise. If the niche is particularly relevant to the overall wellbeing of the user, raters might get more rigorous. Your content’s purpose must be clear and presented without any bias. So avoid any scientific research articles secretly favoring brands and selling products.
Even if the content is great and informative, it changes the scientific purpose of the article/page and it may be misleading to many users. And as we already mentioned before, Google doesn’t like that.
YMYL (your money/your life) sites are representing specific niches that are connected with your wellbeing. Everything from health, fitness to investments and insurance gotten under intense Google’s scrutiny. These areas are important to your life choices, so the content must be high quality. Everything looking sketchy or misleading, without the proper expertise, that could affect your money or life events might get penalized by Google at some point.
This is a trend and a clear message to all website owners that someone is holding them accountable for the content they put on the web. That shouldn’t be a bad thing, and after all, everyone will show what they are made of.