We keep hearing this term over and over again. Quality content, we need quality content to achieve better search rankings. We need quality content to attract more people to our sites, we need quality content to capture more leads, we need quality content for our inbound marketing efforts.
But what exactly is the definition of quality content? What is quality content? Who defines that this is quality content and this is not quality content? How do we know (rather be a judge) whether a content which we have published on our website or blog is high quality or low quality?
In this article, I will try to cover all these topics based on my understanding of how the web works and how quality content works to help the Search engine optimization of a website.
What is Quality Content?
There is no hard and fast rule which defines that this is “Quality Content” and this is “Not Quality content”. It is much like clothes – some people find some clothes attractive while other people find the same clothes dull. It depends on personal taste and the person’s taste of the content he is expecting.
For example, if I am reading a blog post on a website and the blog post is less than 100 words, I will not be impressed. To me, generally, these are low-quality posts and I would give it a skip. This is because I read a lot and my standard for “Quality” is quite high.
However, from my mom’s perspective, that same page could be quality content because she never uses the internet in the first place. So whatever she gets, falls under “High quality”.
So as we can see, there is no clear definition of what is quality content and what is not. It greatly depends on the user who is reading your content. His knowledge and experience about the subject is also an important factor because if he knows the same thing better than you, your content will not attract him and he may say – “This is just average work. I don’t find the article informative enough”. However, to other people who have little or no idea about the subject being discussed, they will derive a lot of value from your article and will consider it high quality (because it satiates their need).
In Short, the definition of Quality content is given by the reader, not the writer. The person reading the content will determine whether the content is high quality to him or not. The same piece of content can be high quality to some people and low quality to others, because their level of knowledge, experience about the subject, know-how and all other parameters are different.
That said, back in 2011 here is what Google had to say about defining what is high-quality content. If you are keen on building high-quality content for search engine optimization of your website or blog, this blog post from Google should be your stepping stone in determining the standards for high-quality content.
Common Attributes of Web pages that are considered “High Quality”
As it turns out, websites that have high-quality content has some common attributes associated with them which generally “signals” whether a given piece of content is high quality or not. Please bear in mind that the presence of these attributes is a good “signal” which means it is a good indicator whether a given webpage is high quality or low quality. There are and will be exceptions to everything but in general, if a webpage has these things in them, it is considered high quality in nature.
- The page looks trustworthy. The “first impression” about the page is good, it gives you a feel of trust and encourages the reader to read the content and derive value out of it.
- The page is written by an expert author or someone who has enough knowledge about the subject. The author is a respected name and considered an authority on the subject.
- The page is associated with a well known “Brand” whom people trust and consider a leader in its niche
- The page contains original analysis, original reference, original content which is being referenced in other blogs, websites, publications which are reputed, trustworthy and have a loyal following.
- The page provides substantial value, compared to other pages which talk about the same content.
- The page does not have grammatical errors and enough quality control has been done to ensure that the content presented is easy to read and understand.
- The article has been edited well and not hastily written. By reading the content of the page, you can understand how much time has been devoted in crafting the content of the page and how much “human attention” has been given to ensure the best experience possible.
- The information presented is complete and does not overlook different aspects. If you read this article, you no longer have to read other articles about the same subject and after finishing the article, you will be fully equipped with most of the aspects about the subject the article talks about.
- The information has some sort of “Exclusivity” in it. There is some content on this page which is entirely “exclusive” which is not covered by others in the same niche. Some part of this “exclusive” content is being referenced by other bloggers, website owners and thought leaders in the industry.
- This is a page you would want to bookmark, save for later reference and recommend to your friends and family. This is a page you would want to share with your social networking friends, on your YouTube channel, on your blog and you would gladly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about the subject.
- The page does not have obtrusive advertisements, pop-ups, banner ads and other things which interfere with you reading the content of the page.
If the page you are reading satisfies all of the above conditions, it is a good indicator that the page in question has quality content in it. In general, it has been observed that the pages which have these attributes in them are considered high quality by readers across the globe. People like to visit these pages more often than their counterparts and they also share these types of pages more on their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social networking profiles. These are the pages which attract links naturally from other sites and these are the pages which enjoy high ranking in Google search results.
However, please note that there are exceptions which should not be neglected. In some scenarios, you may find that the design of the website is not as good but the content is really useful and solves the problem right away. It is possible that the website has lots of advertisements in it which hinders with the user experience but the content on the website is really useful and resourceful. These are although exceptions and rarely found.
Barring exceptions, we now know the attributed of a page which has quality content in it and what you should do to ensure that your website has high-quality content which people want to read, which people want to link to, which people want to share in their social profiles and which brings the reader back again and again.
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