Keeping Score: Search Quality Rating & Your Site
If you’ve entered the world of search engine optimization (SEO), you know it’s a bit like playing a game. Researching and selecting keywords, writing optimized copy, monitoring keyword performance, and properly adjusting to Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) can all lead to a big organic win for your website if played the right way. Like any contest, however, there are rules, and that’s never made more evident than when a Google algorithm update is released.
Thinking of Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines like a playbook will help you better maintain keyword rankings across your site. There will unavoidably be keyword fluctuations, but following Google’s lead is a must if you wish to outlast your competitors following a Google Core Algorithm Update.
In a world full of unknowns, you can gain the upper hand in SEO if you follow Google’s best practices, which can directly make or break your site’s short- and long-term performance.
The Makeup of a High-Quality Page
According to these ever-important search quality rating guidelines (which include over 160 pages of criteria), there are a few main factors that are considered in terms of how an individual rater sees your entire site.
Good or bad, your site (and each individual page on it) is assessed based on what the Google algorithm considers to be the most impactful on-page elements. From quality of written content to E-A-T, your ability to comply with Google’s guidelines dictates whether you’re rewarded or docked during and after Google Algorithm Updates.
According to the Search Quality Rating Guidelines, Google’s algorithm strongly considers the main content when it’s being crawled or indexed. Your primary purpose should always be to help a site visitor find exactly what they’re looking for, whether that’s by delivering expert information or leading them to a specific type of product.
Websites that fulfill this better than others will benefit because they satisfy searcher intent.
To sum it up, it’s not so much about how much you write about a given topic or product, rather the specificity of the words on your landing page. If your content is useful and grammatically correct, you’ve likely found the winning combination.
Another influential factor in surviving a Google algorithm update is E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness). E-A-T exemplifies how qualified you are to write about a given subject, the effectiveness of your customer service, and the usefulness of a given page in Google’s eyes.
When publishing an article about medical, scientific, or legal topics (or even subject matters like finances, parenting, home remodeling, and several others), having strong E-A-T signals will very likely help you compete for a top spot on the SERPs.
Expert, user-focused content can even be strengthened by giving Google straightforward signals. For instance, a medical article written by a practicing doctor of 30 years will be given precedence over a piece written by a current medical student.
With that in mind, it’s crucial that you give credit where it’s due. In this case, the experienced doctor should appear in your article’s byline to go along with a well-written author bio explaining their career achievements.
Anything you can do on your site to portray E-A-T is an indicator as to why Google should choose you for a prized page one position.
Tying It All Together: Prepare for Change to See Success With Google Search Algorithm Updates
Winning the web isn’t at all easy for SEO – but playing Google’s game the right way will surely put you in a better position to succeed before, during, and after Google search algorithm updates. Since Google often releases these updates without warning, it’s even more vital that you’re regularly improving your site. As such, using Search Quality Rating Guidelines to evaluate and execute your ongoing content strategy is encouraged.
From our team at ROI Revolution to yours, we hope you’ll find yourself on the right side of the next Google algorithm update, whenever that day may come. It’s anybody’s guess, but now you should know how to endure the inevitable.
If you think your business could benefit from having a dedicated SEO team by your side who constantly stays on the pulse of the latest Google search algorithm updates, look no further than the team at ROI Revolution. Reach out to our team today to explore the untapped profitable growth opportunities that we can discover for your brand.
- RaterHub. General Guidelines.
- Search Engine Journal. Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines: A Guide for SEO Beginners.
- Semrush. EAT, YMYL, & Beneficial Purpose: What Do Google’s Quality Standards Mean for Search?