The Ultimate Guide to Google’s Search Quality Guidelines (Part 3)

Expanding on our Ultimate Guide to Google’s Search Quality Guidelines, Part 3 goes even deeper into E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) and how it relates to low quality pages.

As we’re working on digital marketing strategy with Posirank clients, Dustin and I review the on-site factors that are vital for healthy organic search rankings. And, high quality content always ranks right up there at the top of the list.

So, in addition to reviewing our deep dive into E-A-T and high quality content in Part 2 of our Ultimate Guide to Google’s Search Quality Guidelines, another way to evaluate your site content is to study Google’s explanation of lower quality content.

So here we go…

Part 3: Page Quality Rating Guidelines

Low Quality Pages

Your site will achieve a low page quality score if it does not display a high enough standard of E-A-T. This is especially true in technical fields but it applies to all sites.

For example, if your site is focused on selling SEO services, your content should be written by people or organizations with appropriate SEO expertise or accreditation – not rehashed content from an anonymous writer or content mill.

If your site isn’t highly technical (gardening, knitting,  etc.) but based more on practical experience that’s OK too. Content on these types of sites need to be detailed and comprehensive.

As you can see, the days of generic content are over!

Google has specified the following as characteristics of low quality pages:

  • An inadequate level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
  • The quality of the Main Content is low.
  • There is an unsatisfying amount of Main Content for the purpose of the page.
  • The title of the Main Content is exaggerated or shocking.
  • The Ads or Supplementary Content distracts from the Main Content.
  • There is an unsatisfying amount of website information or information about the creator of the Main Content for the purpose of the page (no good reason for anonymity).
  • A mildly negative reputation for a website or creator of the Main Content, based on extensive reputation research.

Take a look at your site and read your content like it’s the first time – who wrote it, what are their qualifications, has the topic been covered completely, etc. Showing expertise, time taken in content development, and talent or skill will ensure that your site meets  all of Google’s quality standards.

Examples of Low Quality Pages

To better understand the low quality examples that follow, keep in mind the following definitions:

Main content is any content (images, text, video, etc) on the page that “directly helps the page achieve its purpose.”

Supplementary content is any other feature of the page that helps “better achieve its purpose” than without. For example, you’ll often see page features like a table of contents, a checklist, or downloadable content. These page features would improve the pages ability to “achieve its purpose.”

Ads, often in the form of image banners or text links, can disrupt the user experience.

Low Quality Page Examples
News SiteInformational Site
ArticleFinancial Site
Medical SiteRecipe Site

Low Quality VS High Quality Pages

In a nutshell, low quality pages are almost always defined by one of the following factors:

  • Lacks E-A-T
  • Stating misleading information as fact
  • Content clearly doesn’t represent time taken, effort, or talent/skill displayed
  • Amount of content does not satisfy the purpose of the page
  • Disruptive ads
  • Malicious intent (phishing, etc)
  • Deceptive Design (IE: hiding Adsense ads to look like navigation)
  • Extremely Negative or Malicious Reputation

In this series, we’ve taken a look at the highest quality and lowest quality of pages. There are several levels in-between, but for the best long-term, organic search results, we recommend always striving for highest quality.

What’s Next?

In our next installment, we’ll explore mobile quality guidelines and wrap up all the loose ends.  Stay tuned!

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