Do you remember the days when you would use your search engine of choice to find something and end up with a page full of keyword-stuffed websites that offered no content of real value? When the top dozen or so results were full of adverts and links designed to earn the site owner revenue rather than offer you quality content?
Thankfully, those days are long gone. Web users and search engines demand much more from websites now and for good reason.
Like many blog posts here at Coastal Content, this one was prompted by a discussion with a client. The client in question had previously bought over 1,000 articles from an Asian reseller and was complaining that they didn?t help with his SEO at all. In fact, he had a better position before uploading the articles. He wanted to know why.
Quality content and engagement
One of the many improvements Google has made to their algorithm is the inclusion of engagement calculations in their ranking processes. So rather than just looking at page content, keywords, links and how many times the page is visited, Google now does much more.
Using some complicated maths, Google now assess how long a visitor stays on a page, how quickly they back out or move on and how far they scroll on any given page. Ignoring the fact that your every move is being watched and studied by Google, it gives you a clue as to why quality content matters.
If someone lands on your page and immediately closes it or backs out, Google regards that as a negative. If a visitor lands on a page and consumes everything on it, Google regards it as a positive. It will then rank the page higher or lower accordingly. This is why content marketers like us keep going on about quality being everything. It isn?t just for our benefit but yours too!
If someone lands on one of those pages and sees something that doesn?t make sense they will either close the page or back out right away. That isn?t going to rank very well in terms of those engagement calculations. Worse still, if that user tries a couple of pages and sees the same poor quality content, they will never come back.
By using engagement data, search engines assess how valuable your content is and rewards you for it with a better ranking. So to answer that client question, buying poor quality, barely legible content from Asia may make his website look larger but it doesn?t help with engagement. Therefore it doesn?t contribute to his SERPS ranking.
The competition is too fierce, the variety to numerous and the opportunity to go elsewhere too compelling to risk your reputation like this. It is rare that a visitor will return to a website once they have been let down even once. It takes a lot of work to rebuild that damage.
So offering quality web content is an integral part of any business model. Whether you?re a builder, IT consultant or multinational. If you want to include digital in your business, quality really is king.