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Adjusting Your Website for Google’s “How To” Quality Update

SEO updateAlthough Google denies any algorithm changes, there was most certainly a change in rankings that affected many websites recently. The so-called “Quality Update” was not categorized by Google as a Panda or Penguin update, but it was an update nonetheless. Also known as the “Phantom Update,” Google rolled out new rules that change the way it assesses quality website content.

Specifically, this update is said to have targeted “How To” content in an effort to wipe out sites with lack-luster “How To” articles. So many of you may be wondering, “How can I create quality content to make up for this ranking drop? What now constitutes as quality?”

Here are some tips to achieving a high quality website:

  1. Provide relevant and practical information: When writing blog posts, ensure that topics are relevant and useful to those reading the site. The information on your website should help visitors understand your brand and provide value. Site information must match the service or product being sold. Discrepancies between the content and the site can cause penalties from Google. For example, if you’re launching a site for a hardware store, include the location, hours of operation, contact information, products and a blog to share company news, product information or other relevant information.
  • Be novel: It’s okay to be one of many similar websites. Chances are, if you sell a particular product or service, so do a number of companies and they also have websites. However, being unique will give you an edge on the competition. If your content is of equal or lesser value than a competitor, your site may be penalized and ranked lower. It’s okay to have a similar topic because, let’s face it, there’s only some much one can say about hardware and tools; however, the novelty comes in your unique perspective and your valuable spin on the same information.
  • Be reputable: Nobody wants to read an article that makes wild and unsubstantiated claims about a topic without backing it up with research. Be versed in your topic. Know your content well because when you don’t, it will show not only to Google but more so to consumers. Show credibility by backing claims with links to outside content and sources. If you pulled information from a particular person, cite that person in your post. Also, using testimonials or reviews to back a claim works wonders. Back up claims about your company’s service with reviews from raving fans. This will demonstrate that you’re honest and authentic.
  • Stay close to home: You should be providing unique content, so don’t outsource. Keep your content creators close to home: either within the company or utilize an agency that knows you well. Make sure to communicate regularly with the team creating content. Everyone, including Google, recognizes mass-produced content, and nobody wants to read that. What is a top goal of your website? Other than providing useful and relevant information, it should create a positive user experience, and capture leads.
  • Engaging and pretty: Be lively with your content. Put lots of color and different types of media on your site. Make it fun to visit and easy to navigate. A site that is engaging with calming and pretty colors will provide a positive experience to users. Also, media such as audio, video and images are good for engagement. More and more, online users want interactive media content because it’s easier and more fun to consume. Be sure to double and triple check your content for errors; nothing is more distracting than a spelling or grammar error. It also destroys credibility. Websites should be continually updated with new and fresh content that provides value. New content is engaging content. Also, limiting ads on your site will be greatly appreciated by users: especially snake person users.
  • Deploy natural on-page optimization techniques: This will be a future topic, stay tuned…

If you’re struggling to make sure your website has quality content on it or if you have an issue keeping up with all the updates, it may be time to call in an expert! Don’t fall behind the pack, contact us today! mRELEVANCE, LLC specializes in building and maintaining quality websites with quality content. Contact managing partner, Mitch Levinson at 847-259-7312 or go online to