Danny Sullivan has just posted a long article on the blog for Google’s webmasters about “core updates” (updates of the heart of the search engine algorithm) that are put in place every 2 to 3 months and on the notion of quality of content expected by the engine.
Google, through Danny Sullivan, which is clearly the job at Mountain View, today posted a post on Google’s blog for webmasters , explaining what are its ” core updates ” , which have occurred several times in recent years, for example with Medic August 1, 2018 (well, stack one year to the day) or Florida 2 March 12, 2019. But these updates are most often put into production every 2 to 3 months on average.
Of course, do not expect extraordinary revelations in this type of article, but rather an explanation, certainly necessary, about what Google considers to be “good quality content” and, by contrast, “low quality content” “, very often the target of this type of update.
Danny explains that, during these “core updates”, it is not a question of “punishing” this or that type of site, it is not an update intended to penalize sites trying to manipulate the algorithms, as could be for example Panda or Penguin at the beginning of the 2010s. Let him say: “There is nothing wrong with some sites not working as well after a “core update”. They have not violated our recommendations for webmasters and have not been subject to manual action or an algorithmic filter, as may happen on pages that do not adhere to these guidelines. In fact, there is nothing in a “core update” that targets specific pages or sites. Rather, it is about improving the way our systems evaluate content as a whole. These changes can also make certain pages that were previously under-rewarded better positioned.
One way to think about how a “core update” works is to imagine that in 2015 you made a list of your 100 favorite movies. A few years later, in 2019, you update this list. She will change, of course. Some new and wonderful films that had never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You could also re-evaluate some movies and realize that they deserved a higher spot on the list than before. The list will change, and the movies that were at the top of the list and move down are not worse. There are simply other interesting films that have arrived in the meantime. “
Admittedly, it is an analogy that we can understand. But what to do after losses of positions and / or traffic during a “core update”? Because it is not possible to be satisfied with the usual speech of the spokesmen of Google explaining that nothing should be done … Danny explains that it is necessary, once again, to focus on the quality of the contents. And it refers to the advice already provided in 2011 on quality content by asking the following questions (updated from the first version):
Questions about content and quality
- Does the content provide original information, reports, research or analysis?
- Does the content provide a substantial and complete description of the subject?
- Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that goes beyond the obvious?
- If the content is inspired by other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting these sources and does it add substantial value and originality?
- Does the page title provide a descriptive and useful summary of the content?
- Is the title of the page not exaggerated or shocking?
- Is this the kind of page you would like to put in your favorites, share with a friend or recommend?
- Would you expect to see this content in a magazine, encyclopedia or printed book or to refer to it?
Questions about expertise
- Does the content present the information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as a clear source, evidence of expertise, general information about the author or the site that publishes it, as links to a page of the author or the page “About” a site?
- If you were researching the site that produced the content, would you come out with the impression that it is trustworthy or widely recognized as an authority in the matter?
- Is this content written by an expert or an enthusiast who knows the subject well?
- Is the content free of easily verifiable factual errors?
- Would you be comfortable to trust this content for questions about your money or your life ( YMYL or Your Money, Your Life criteria )?
Presentation and production issues
- Is the content free of spelling errors or lack of style?
- Has the content been well produced or seemingly neglected or hastily written?
- Is the content mass-produced by a large number of creators or outsourced to many, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites do not receive as much attention or care?
- Does the content contain an excessive amount of advertising that distracts or interferes with the main content?
- Does the content appear on mobile devices when viewed on them?
- Does the content offer substantial value compared to the other pages of the search results?
- Does the content appear to serve the actual interests of site visitors or does it appear to exist only for search engines?
Danny then advises to analyze the losses of position or traffic undergone. Which pages have been most affected and for which types of research? Examine them carefully to understand how they are evaluated against some of the questions posed above.
Another resource for advice on quality content is to consult the guide for “Quality raters” : ” It’s important to understand that Quality Raters have no control over page rankings. are not used directly in our ranking algorithms, we use them rather as a restaurant can analyze the opinions of its customers.The feedback helps us to know if our algorithms seem to work.If you understand how Quality Raters learn to evaluating good content could help you improve your own content, and the results will be better in SEO. “
Danny also talks about EAT (Expertise, Authority and Reliability) and provides some examples of articles written by people who have implemented this type of strategy:
- EAT and SEO , by Marie Haynes
- Google Updates Quality Rater Guidelines Targeting EAT, Page Quality & Interstitials by Jennifer Slegg
- Leveraging EAT for Success SEO , presentation by Lily Ray
- Google’s Core Algorithm Updates and The Power of User Studies: How Real Feedback From Real People Can Help Owners Website Website Quality Problems (And More) , by Glenn Gabe
- Why EAT & Core Updates Will Change Your Content Approach , by Fajr Muhammad
Of course, all these tips are pretty vague, but how is it possible otherwise?
We can only continue, on our side, to repeat the same creed: in the long term, there is only the quality that counts: write with the sole purpose of being the best to answer the intention of search for your visitors and you will see that the situation will improve!