Google recently changed their search algorithm to favor quality over quantity when it comes to content. This is great news for small business sites because now you can focus on creating high-quality content that is relevant for your customers instead of trying to compete with content farms that produce a large quantity of low-quality articles. While it is still the case that more pages indexed by Google will improve your rankings, it’s no longer enough to just produce keyword-laden content‚Äö√Ñ√Æquality is now a major factor. Google’s shift means that it’s better to have fewer high-quality pages then more low-quality pages. We have put together three tips on how you can improve your search ranking under Google’s new focus on quality content.

1. Focus on the User

Google wants to ensure that they drive users to pages with content that is relevant and of high-quality. That’s good because you want to provide your customers with relevant, high-quality information. While Google doesn’t provide the details about how they determine quality, they provide a great set of questions to ask about your content to determine if it is of high-quality.

A high-quality site starts with the user as the focus. Consider your website from your users’ perspective. Imagine you are trying to find information about one of your products or services. Are you able to find it easily and with little distraction? Is the information relevant or filled with useless marketing babble? Do you think the information is so valuable that your average customer would want to share it? Ideally, your content is easy to find, relevant and your users want to share it.

2. High-Quality Means High-Quality

High-quality content is just that, high-quality. Make sure your content is relevant to your customers. Don’t try to overload it with keywords so that it isn’t readable by human beings. Your content should have useful information that is engaging and unique. Avoid duplicating content across your site or copying content from other sites. Google doesn’t penalize sites for duplicating content, but it doesn’t make it readily available either. Users will have to click to see the results and most simply won’t do it. Google wants to show the most relevant information which means they show the original and ignore the rest. You get no benefit from duplicating content.

Don’t overdo it with advertising. People don’t like sites loaded with advertising and neither does Google. Too much advertising will lower your ranking. Even more, people find it annoying and will be turned off by it (remember, focus on the user!). Some advertising makes sense, but ensure that it doesn’t interfere with the content. Weaving it into the content is a spam tactic and it won’t go over well with users or Google.

3. Quality Inbound Links

When other sites link to your content, Google sees that as validation that your site offers high-quality content that people want to share. What is important here is to have quality links. You can go out and pay to have links to your content, but Google won’t value those very highly since they are able to determine when a site linking to you is a link farm or not. Instead, consider writing quest posts for other blogs, write for online magazines and sent out press releases. All of these methods provide quality links back to your site and also build your credibility with your customers as well as Google.

Social media is another great way to get links back to your content. Every tweet on Twitter, for example, is indexed by Google as a single page. That means that the links in your Twitter profile and within your tweets offer an inbound link opportunity for you. Again, your tweets should be relevant and useful just like your other content because that will get people to share it. When they share it, Google indexes their tweet with a link back to your site. Obviously, social media offers a powerful way to enhance your inbound links.

As always, we assume that your site is well-built and without errors. Google ranks sites with poor code low in its search results. Errors will pretty much ensure you won’t show in search results at all. Spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes and other similar mistakes will lower your ranking as well. If you have a well-built site with high-quality, relevant content then you will find your site ranks well with Google’s new search algorithm.

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