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What Signals Does Google Use to Determine Quality?

on October 28, 2013

Google Quality Signals

Google avoids sharing the complete list of ranking factors used to determine quality. The company withholds the information to both keep people from gaming the system and to block competitors from doing the same. To gain the upperhand, webmasters must use trial and error to see what factors will rank well, or be able to read between the lines of what Google developers are saying. However, many signals have been gleaned over the years. Many factors exist that work together to improve SEO results.

Update frequently. Google bots will crawl pages to see if a site is an up-to-date source of information. Time the frequency of posts to update weekly, at a specific time every month or weekly. Try to update as frequently as you can. By updating regularly, it tells Google bots how often to crawl a page for new information.

Use inbound and outbound links to describe your webpage. Google uses links to determine what a site is about. Any keywords contained by sites linking into your site will be taken into account, and vice versa, so be careful what you want the links to say about the page content. A site could show up in search for something unrelated and raise the bounce rate (the rate at which people leave a site after the first page view). Make sure that these are high quality content sites linking in as well to improve the page’s ranking.

Create fresh and unique content. Google disapproves of copied content and low quality articles, which are associated with spam. Anything that is too similar may be ranked as low quality, so quote sparingly. Create unique content by answering frequently asked questions and by asking readers to email in questions. There are many people that might be asking questions related to your website content on forums or blogs.

Make sure that your meta tags/description reflect the content you are trying to rank for. While meta tags have lost influence as a quality factor, it is still important to make them relevant to the content. Try to use the main keyword in the very first sentence. Then, use it 2-3 more times in the body of the article. Do not go overboard in add, as it might look like keyword stuffing to the search engine. Check the keywords that high ranking, similar competitors are using to get more ideas for terms to use.


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