This article provides you with an insight into Google’s core updates and how to try and overcome the potential drop in search ranking for your website pages or blog posts. After you have read this article, hopefully you will have a positive idea on how to write content which Google will like.

Before you produce content for your website, whether it’s information pages or blog posts, it is recommended by Google to follow their guidelines for creating content. 

You might have some great insights and information about a product or service but if your content is not structured or written in the best possible way, with the user/audience in mind, it is unlikely to rank well in Google’s search rankings.

I’ve been looking at Google’s latest recommendations for producing content that will be favoured in search rankings and this blog post summarises the latest tips for helping to produce search friendly content.

As Google improves their search functionality for users it makes lots of updates and changes to its algorithms which can have an effect on your page rankings. Have you ever noticed a page rank drop for certain pages on your website? Well, this is a result of Google’s core updates. As mentioned before, there are lots of these updates throughout the year, but sometimes there are big updates which can have an almost immediate affect on your page rankings.

It’s important that your content creator knows about these updates and her or his finger is on the pulse when the latest big updates hit. However, it’s not just the content creator which should be aware of these updates, it’s the person or persons who look at the analytics and search engine optimisation reports for your website.

What is a Google core update or algorithm update?

It’s a good idea to know exactly why Google are constantly updating their algorithms. If we understand this, content creators and SEO managers will have more knowledge about what the outcome of updates are and how to be proactive once they do update. Here’s Google explaining why they perform these updates:

“Several times a year, we make significant, broad changes to our search algorithms and systems. We refer to these as “core updates.” They’re designed to ensure that overall, we’re delivering on our mission to present relevant and authoritative content to searchers.”

How to write content which Google will like?

To stay on top of your content and to try and resolve any page rank drops, we can all adopt the following guidelines on how to produce content. It’s also a good idea to use Google’s guidelines to help your existing content rank well also. Look back at content already published and make changes based upon these recommendations.

Content and quality questions to ask yourself before publishing your content

  • Does the content provide original information, reporting, research or analysis?
  • Does the content provide a substantial, complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?
  • Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?
  • Does the headline and/or page title avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopaedia or book?

Expertise questions to consider about the content you produce

  • Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site’s About page?
  • If you researched the site producing the content, would you come away with an impression that it is well-trusted or widely recognised as an authority on its topic?
  • Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?
  • Is the content free from easily verified factual errors?
  • Would you feel comfortable trusting this content for issues relating to your money or your life?

Presentation and production questions to ask yourself about the content you are creating

  • Is the content free from spelling or stylistic issues?
  • Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to many creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  • Does the content have an excessive number of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?

Comparative questions to ask about the content you are publishing

  • Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • Does the content seem to be serving the genuine interests of visitors to the site or does it seem to exist solely by someone attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?

Further reading and understanding about these guidelines can be found on the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog.

Taking all of these recommendations on board might feel daunting at first but it is something that I think is very important if you want your website to excel when it comes to overall usability and experience, as well as being at the forefront of information in your industry.

If you have any questions about these recommendations or would like some help on producing search friendly content for your website, then please contact me.

Stu Young – @stuyoso