Things to Know about Google & Content Assessment
Did you know Google provides publicly a set of guidelines by which it advises its human quality raters how to assess digital content?
Seriously, if you didn’t know this, or even if you did and forgot, it’s noteworthy! This 164 page pdf outlines the definitions and parameters that Google considers super significant in the process they use for humans proofing the search results generated by their algorithms. Understanding these guidelines is your key to answering “How Do I Rank #1 in Google?”.
Does that mean Google uses human feedback in their search ranking assessment and process?
Sort of! Search Quality Evaluators don’t directly impact search ranking but are tasked with reviewing the quality of content and pages out in the internet universe. Their assessment of quality is sent back to the mothership, it is used as a gauge in determining success and accuracy of algorithmic changes over time.
With the recent updates that just came out for Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines – an expanded emphasis has been placed on the need for content to display beneficial purpose not just quality. In other words, you can create what appears to be great content but if it doesn’t serve a needed purpose it won’t rank well. This focus on updated quality guidelines seemed like the perfect opportunity to revisit the age-old question:
How Do I Rank #1 in Google?
As fast as things grow and change in the digital marketing industry, really, they stay very much the same.
- The fundamental purpose of a Search Engine is to deliver the best results for a specific query.
- The fundamental purpose of a Search User is to find website content that meets a need.
- Website Owners want Search Engines to deliver Search Users their website content.
Ranking #1 in Google or Search is Simple, Right?
I could give you the lengthy and boring response that it’s “Complicated” especially considering that no one really knows the details of the nearly 200+ factors utilized by algorithms to determine a single search result, and all the on-page and off-page SEO elements that could end up working for, or against you… However, I want to try and take a simple approach instead!
To Rank Well in Google (or Any Search Engine) You Must:
· Have Content – Seems stupid but you would be surprised!
· Make Great Quality Content – This is where it gets a little more difficult but is still attainable.
· Promote Your Content – Often forgotten but very valuable.
· Assess Your Content – Typically the most difficult task
· Adjust Your Content – Nothing is ever perfect…
· Repeat Your Content Process – Don’t just set it and forget it, even if it’s already great content.
Achieving Great Quality Content
- Clearly Identify Its Purpose – To you and to the user. Consider goals, target actions, appropriate keywords, potential questions or pain points that you can address.
- Build It!
- Consider the appropriate content types for your purpose (written, images, videos, widgets, linking etc.)
- Create a layout that prioritizes the most valuable elements at the top, is scannable, and that you design in mobile first.
- Implement correctly, ensure you know your platform well or have expert help. Be certain all common SEO items such as tags, structured data, linking are properly implemented and that you have someone else proof your content. Be sure to add an annotation in Google Analytics for ease in your future assessment processes.
- The Forgotten Steps – As with most things, there are always key elements that really distinguish reasons for elevated success. For content ranking success, I think these forgotten steps are often why good content doesn’t become fabulous content.
Promote Content – Integration is key to everything, once you have created what you think is useful content, it needs the support of use and engagement to prove it. Get it out there:
- Google/Bing Ads
- Facebook Ads/Posts
- Internal Linking
- External Linking
- Submit to Google Search Console
- Update XML Sitemap & Submit
Assess Content – Take the time to review how your content is performing. Nothing is ever perfect and you can’t know your content is quality without the data to support it. You also can’t make informed improvements to your content without the feedback your data will have. It may take a month or several to get the volume of data you need to ensure good input, but assessing page metrics in Google Analytics & Google Search Console and reviewing keyword growth and placement using a tool such as Semrush or Ahrefs is vital to your end results.
Adjust Content – Once you assess your content’s performance, determine the appropriate adjustments to be made… and make them! Note that unless your content is performing horribly, it is wise to make edits in a moderate fashion so that you can better understand the impact of your changes in a future review.
For Success…Remember This:
Google provides substantial resources to help you build top quality content. Use Them!
Content purpose has been elevated as an important consideration for quality.
Develop content that properly serves your users intent while keeping their interest.
“How Do I Rank #1 in Google/Search?”
Develop Kickass Content
Need help with your site and content? Contact Blizzard for expert help with any or all steps in the content creation, promotion, or assessment process.