Quality Content Should Be Original, Reliable, and Fair
In What is Quality Content? Part 1, we analyzed the top quarter of Google’s Panda content guidelines because so many webmasters are searching for ways to fine-tune their existing (or non-existent) content. Since My Web Writers writes thousands of successful web pages each year, we’re excited to present the What is Quality Content? series to you.
8. Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
When I was teaching English, I’d sometime catch students attempting short cuts. I still remember sitting in the principal’s office with two sophomores and their parents.
One boy’s father was a minister. This dad emphatically couldn’t understand why having duplicated content here and there throughout his son’s paper was a problem. That’s why he called the meeting. Giving the boys “F’s” for having nearly the same papers was unacceptable to him. Sure, they’d used the same wording, minus a couple and’s, a’s, and the’s. Okay, so the papers shared the exact same sources and their conclusions were virtually the same. What was the big deal?
The boys, who’d be in their mid-thirties today, were intelligent and crafty, but the game, if they continued playing it, would now mean the difference between a substantial ROI and lost revenue. Thanks, Pastor Dad.
Google brought relief to writers who invest sweat equity into creating original content. If you borrow or steal ideas and words, the new algorithm notices. Offending sites lose rank.
The Cost of Original Content
There is a cost factor to providing original content. If you want the best, then you’ll need to conduct your own studies. Original research might include:
• mathematical calculations
• phone polls
• independent testing
• case studies
• analysis of website analytics
Content about celebrities, company successes, and customer satisfaction stand a better chance of ranking with fresh quotes. Therefore, instead of searching the Internet for a quote from Ms. Popular superstar or Mr. Expert, you should pick up the phone and make appointments with press secretaries for interviews.
Companies that were hoping inexpensively to paste up a little original content should really take pause. Make room in next year’s budget for original content that starts conversations. Conducting original research takes time and financial investment. You may need to pay experts for their insights. Science that withstands scrutiny can take hours and hours before the writing even begins. Be prepared to pay more per web page for in-depth, original content.
9. Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
Think about starting with the end. When you search for anything on the web that’s important to you, let’s say the latest cell phone models, which pages hold your attention the longest? The ones that provide “substantial value” do.
Websites with both products and the following features provide added value:
• reviews (both good and bad),
• additional product suggestions,
• expert opinions,
• and, complete and original product information.
10. How much quality control is done on content?
Many large websites used to limp by for years without updating. The cheese has moved.
You can’t let links to out-of-stock products and defunct urls stay in website content for long without penalty. Do budget for refreshed SEO content. If it’s not in the budget, put yourself in the habit of regularly correcting site errors.
In general, we suggest that large clients with hundreds or thousands of urls aim to refresh each page 1- 2x per year, with higher category pages having potential for more work. Smaller sites should seize the advantage of being able to refresh content more frequently.
11. Does the article describe both sides of a story?
Search engines have this particular problem of policing. If you are Google, you can’t be biased or you may find yourself in an antitrust probe. That’s right, even Google has “borrowed” content from competitors like Trip Advisor and Yelp.
Search engines like Google will overcome monopoly doubts if they present fair and equitable results. They need writers and reporters to do the same in their articles.
So, if you were covering the Casey Anthony story, your report would be more reliable if it presented the facts from both sides of the case. That’s because bias can mislead or misinform. Google’s in the business of delivering reliable web results. Reliable content provides both sides of issues and products- good reviews and bad reviews.
While original content may cost more in time and money, its reliability will naturally stand out against the crowd, making customers and readers more interested in your site. We’ll continue our discussion what makes up quality content in part 3.