While Matt Cutts of Google has been extraordinarily tight lipped over the years on the exact metrics the Panda Algorithm uses to define quality content, he recently recorded and released a video offering a link to an article by  Amit Singhal that was published to Google central webmasters blog.

In recent months we’ve been especially focused on helping people find high-quality sites in Google’s search results. The “Panda” algorithm change has improved rankings for a large number of high-quality websites, so most of you reading have nothing to be concerned about. However, for the sites that may have been affected by Panda we wanted to provide additional guidance on how Google searches for high-quality sites.

It was revealed months ago that Panda 2.0 had been successfully integrated into weekly ongoing metrics and crawls instead of updating monthly or quarterly as had been done in the past. This integration revealed that past leniency with  newer sites was effectively dead. If you’re a new business with a new site, from your first day of business until the last, you will be compared and judged equally with the powerhouses of your industry.

Matt Cutts video was released this week but the article he refers webmasters to in it is dated May of 2011.

This offers all content creators and managers an idea of how stable Google’s definition of quality content is. All that’s left is to conclude that weekly updates to Panda include expanded definitions on how poor content is defined and minor multiple industry related updates.

Google follows the academic model of quality of content proof that has been modified and adapted to the online environment. It’s not enough to list a citation. You need to hyperlink, to prove that your info matches.

If you want long term SEO relevant copy and content, you need to focus on writing, research, and relevant link building. Panda now seems to be most focused on what the industry calls “black hat” and “gray hat” SEO practices. As Panda evolves weekly it becomes ever more capable of finding and demoting sites that use unethical schemes to trick Google into giving high SERP placement for posts, articles, and blogs.

The article cited above has a long list of questions that everyone needs to ask themselves as authors. Each site receiving regular copy deserves an internal audit from it’s primary author monthly. The whole body of work of a site is very well served by asking these hard questions and finding ways to increase quality of content.

Unfortunately the process of learning what defines an individual quality article can be long and intuitive. As has been discussed, Google algorithms are proprietary and they go to great lengths to keep the exact values out of SEOs hands.

Below is a list of values to focus on for each article you write. These are based off of the article recently referred to by Mr Cutts and the cumulative knowledge of the staff of BJC Branding.

We offer them as a starting point for new content creators, not as an ending point that defines quality. Remember that this list needs to be combined with the highest ethical values of the field that you write copy for. As can be imagined, Medical copy writing versus restaurant review copy writing can have far reaching and different proofs of quality. While medical research needs older citations to prove agreement, restaurant reviews need to cite new copy. Proving that the author recently tasted and reviewed the food of the establishment is key in such a time relevant field.

With that in mind remember that all topics will have slight variations on this list, but most will require the following to prove quality content within an article or blog post:

  • Depth of information must be displayed
  • Non duplicate content – internally and externally
  • Free of keyword stuffed copy
  • Free of errors – spelling and grammar
  • Offer valued information
  • Advance/contribute to industry discussion of topic
  • Editorial review
  • Prove financial transaction trust with company info and address (money worthiness)
  • Offer complete discussion and understanding without jumping off page VIA hyperlink
  • Include at least one citation for your article with hyperlink and quoted text. Two or more diverse links are preferable.
  • Image and article metadata needs to match the actual image and information being offered
  • IS article ready for bookstore quality printing? Would YOU buy it as an industry specialist?
  • Avoid excessive adds within copy – the fewer the better
  • Does copy offer proof of industry leadership for site of publication?
  • Is site of publication technically sound?
  • No NOT use graphics to hide any content. Even if accidental, Panda will assume you have a reason to hide something if you do so
  • Hyperlinks stuffed into hidden footers on pages below copy posts will count against the copy. One or two links per hundred words is wise.

We look forward to your contributions in our vibrant online discussions. You can find us on FacebookTwitterGoogle Plus and Pinterest.

BJC Branding
26 Elm Street, Suite 4
Quincy, MA  02169
(910) 227-9227

Jake Burns