You’re working hard to produce quality content for your website, but still, as you edit, you wonder if it’s good enough for Google. We dissect Google’s Webmaster guidelines for building high-quality sites in What is Quality Content? Part 1 and What is Quality Content? Part 2. Today, we’ll continue by looking at the middle of the list- specifically website authority.
Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
Start-ups and companies that lag behind in time spent on the web need time and experience to build their online reputations.
Being recognized as an authority in your small, offline circle doesn’t mean that search engines will recognize your new site as a leading authority- or even as a local authority. You’ll have to get your friends and followers involved in the process of linking to your articles and web pages and conversing and endorsing you. In time, tangible links will tip off Google that people are interested in your content.
Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
The bigger you are, the more cobwebs there are to remove. Stay on top of the details. It’s prudent to go back and revamp old posts to make sure the links and content are still working and relevant. For large e-commerce sites, plan to have your content provider regularly refresh your content to maintain your site’s authority. It’s not enough just to provide content one time. You need to tend to your pages as if you were a gardener at harvest.
If your site offers the work of several, guest bloggers, secure permission to keep their content relevant or have them update their own content on a yearly basis or more.
Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
If you stumble upon several examples of subject-verb disagreement or singular verses plural issues, chances are the article’s editor was off that day. Is the article proofread, organized, and challenging?
In the Mother’s Choice blog, Heidi picks apart the logic of a poorly written article paragraph-by-paragraph. Her depth is the sign of a good editor. She goes beyond proofreading by challenging the author’s accuracy and logic, which, if considered would raise the bar of the author’s future rewrite. Heidi raises the expectation of quality, which brings the author’s authority into question.
For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
If you were helping your elderly mother to navigate the available medicines for cancer treatment, would you choose to first read an early 2000 article or would you read a current article? The timeliness of health related articles is key. Update old articles with current facts and issues to maintain authority. Stay on the forefront of what’s new in your industry and provide specific, credible information to prove it.
Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
Are you beginning to sense that the word “authority” is all over the Panda radar? Your next year in the Panda jungle should be spent on a public relations campaign either to keep your authority or to build it. In a recent summary, IM3 discusses Panda updates through 2.3″ and suggests that content providers realize that
“the key implications seem to be on the continuing U-turn away from consistent and unique content updates; quality score is now focusing on a more level blend of new unique content vs link score for that content…Add content but expose it as best possible. Random volumes of text is being punished, despite the uniqueness… this could mean a quality against quantity approach is now visible from Google, but the emphasis remains on both elements.”
As we continue with What is Quality Content? Part 4, consider your own website. How does your content advance your site’s authority?