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This summer, an updated copy of the Google Quality Rater Guidelines was leaked across the Web. For those of you unfamiliar with the guidelines, they provide information on algorithm updates for Google’s human search quality raters that helps them measure the quality of search engine results and test the changes.
The recent leak gave the public a look into the newest version, outlining what Google looks for in a high quality website.
According to the newest Google Quality Guidelines, successful websites tend to have the following characteristics:
“Your Money Your Life” Pages
More emphasis was put on landing pages and blogs that could impact a user’s future happiness, health, or wealth. These include:
- Transaction pages (online stores, financial bill pay)
- Financial information
- Medical information
- Legal information
- Other important information (child adoption, car safety, etc.)
How It Impacts Your Small Business: Focus on providing useful insight in the form of blogs that could enhance a user’s life (blog posts with information about choosing a furnace, the resale value of remodeling, etc.) and relevant landing pages, like a page outlining financing options.
A major emphasis was put on establishing your authority in your field and your trustworthiness on the Internet. Raters are instructed to check for ways that small business websites have established their expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
How It Impacts Your Small Business: When we recently discussed what makes a good HVAC website, we mentioned how important it is to highlight relevant certifications, industry regulations, educational qualifications, awards, etc. Should a user trust your blog post or service page? This is important not just to the heating and air conditioning contractors we spoke to during HVAC week, but to any small business owner looking to establish trust with both Google and users.
A Positive Reputation
A website can’t receive a high quality rating with a negative reputation. This is majorly influenced by:
- Negative reviews via blogs or forums
- News articles about the company
- Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings
How It Impacts Your Small Business: Luckily for small businesses, “lack of reputation online” is not an indication of low quality. Lack of reviews is okay—negative reviews are not. Check out our tips on how to manage your company’s online reputation and what to do about any negative reviews you do have on the Internet.
This includes everything outside the main content and ads that can create a better experience for the user.
How It Impacts Your Small Business: Think about creative ways to supplement on-site content, like helpful plugins, footer information, related links, a navigation that makes sense, and other extra features. Adding supplementary content like this can also help your site convert better by providing users with all the information they need to make a decision in an easy-to-use, attractive format.
Is Your Website Up to Par with the Latest Google Quality Guidelines?
Fill out the free website analysis form below to see how your site performs or give us a call for help building it out to meet the newest Google Quality Guidelines.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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