Over the last three years, Google has made several important changes to the way it indexes the search results page. Determined to serve up only the best, most useful results for every online query, the company has introduced a series of algorithm updates designed to reward original, useful content with a higher search ranking while punishing low quality, spammy sites with a lower ranking or even outright removal from the SERPs. The question is, how exactly does Google define something as subjective as ‘quality?’
A 23 point checklist published on the Google webmaster blog back in 2011 helps to shed some light on the answer.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the quality metrics listed here that are most relevant to your resort.
Trust and Authority
Trust and authority are two of the most important signals Google uses to determine quality. Unsurprisingly, Google needs to feel confident that the websites it’s referring its users to come from legit and trustworthy sources or risk losing its business to Bing or Yahoo. Building trust and authority online takes time, but you can start by developing a strong social media presence, encouraging links and social shares and making sure your resort’s contact details are clearly displayed throughout your website and social network accounts to reassure guests that ‘real life’ customer service is close at hand. When it comes to the content itself, you can build authority by demonstrating your knowledge and enthusiasm for your industry and services within everything your produce.
Spelling and Grammar
Google algorithmically identifies content with multiple spelling and grammar mistakes as low quality, which means cutting down on silly errors should be near the top of your content agenda. Although almost every word processing tool comes with an in-built spellcheck system, common grammatical problem areas like choosing the wrong form of ‘you’re’ or ‘your’ can easily slip through the net. Catch as many of them as you can by having a colleague’s fresh eyes proofread the material several times, or let an online grammar check tool like Grammarly do the work for you.
One of the objectives of Panda and the smaller algorithm updates that followed was to push sites that steal and duplicate content out of the top ranking search positions, rewarding instead those that contain unique, useful content that is of real value to readers. So how do you create original material on an internet saturated with content? Start by writing about the topic you know better than anyone else – your business. By sharing news and achievements or sprinkling a local event write-up with your own research and opinions, you can craft compelling and unique content that wins favour with both Google and your guests.
Do you keep these quality guidelines in mind when creating content online? Let us know in the comments below.