The vast majority of individuals finding content and services online will use a search engine to generate results. Research conducted on search engine clicking have found that about 75% of individuals will not leave the first page of a search result, and the majority of people will click on the first link available.
If you are in a competitive industry, then there is an incredible difference between being the first and the second link listed. You might be wondering what determines this ranking. Well, what determines ranking is based on the search engine being used. Given the size and usage of Google, lets take a moment to review what Google thinks is high quality content. With any luck, by the end of this article, you will have a better sense of what you can do to claim that top spot.
Google releases a list of its own quality guidelines for website owners. They are broken into three categories. The first is to content and pages for people and not search rankings. The second is to not try and trick the ranking system. Finally, the third guideline is to invest time in your niche, providing user value. Google will attempt to rank your website based on these criteria.
Google is aiming to reward authoritative websites with the best ranking. An authoritative website is one closest to the source of information being talked about, shared, or sold on the website. For example, a clothing store is the authoritative website for everything having to do with what they sell directly to the consumer. A blog can be an authoritative site on a particular niche of information if that information is there and actively being added to. Your goal is to make your website as authoritative as possible. How do you do this?
Google ranks all quality content into 5 categories including vital, useful, relevant, slightly relevant, and off-topic. Vital will result in the greatest boost in ranking while off-topic will have the opposite effect. Vital includes any information from the source of the information itself, while relevant includes things like reviews or user experience regarding the information. Relevant and slightly relevant both concern the topic either directly or indirectly. Off-topic lists the information but has no quality content regarding it.
To sum up, high quality content in Google’s eyes is being as close to the authoritative source for that information as possible. This includes vital and useful information regarding the topic, and frequent updates.