Over and over again we keep hearing that one of the best SEO practices is to make sure that your site has good, quality content for your visitors. But, how does Google know whether or not it is good and then factor that into how the site ranks in the search engine results? According to a Searchmetrics Ranking Factors Study there are some things to consider.
One of the big things they point out is that since the Hummingbird algorithm release, semantics and context are much more important. Rather than the old use-as-many- keywords-as-naturally-as-possible approach, really, really think about what the visitor wants to find. What Searchmetrics says is, ““If website editors want their content to rank better for specific keywords, the content should be created with the fulfillment of user search intent in mind.” As content writers, the goal should be to provide information or answers to queries posed by the user of the search engine and not to provide content crafted specifically to please the search engines themselves. In as way, this opens up more possibilities for the writers when creating site content to allow for the variety of additional questions or issues that may pop into the users’ heads when reading the initial information.
Also, to Google, usability may relate to the perceived quality of your content. The lower your bounce rate and the length of time spent on a page can indicate that not only is the information helpful but it is also comprehendible. After all, how helpful is content that is more difficult to understand. And, since we all know that illustrated content seems to hold people’s attention for a longer period of time, the number of visuals can also be a factor in whether site content is considered quality content. Follow the Searchmetrics link above for more information on the study.