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Google has spent the better part of 2011 clamping down on bad content. Not “bad” as in dirty or pornographic. Rather, “bad” as in not high quality.

In case you’re wondering, that’s what the infamous Google Panda was all about. It’s got everyone talking.

It’s also got everyone thinking. As well it should.

The most important thing to keep in mind is not that your content needs to be long. You might come away with that impression if you just looked at the surface of the Panda updates. What you should do, however, is look under the hood. Quality content is the name of the game.

So what is meant by “quality?” The truth is, quality is in eye of the beholder. And lest you think that in all cases Google is the beholder, think again. You should not be writing your content for the search engines, or for a search engine. Instead, write your content for your human readers. Quality is whatever your website visitors make it. Quality is what they want.

How do you do that?

For starters, ask yourself this question: “What do my website’s human readers want? What do they really want?”

Then, give it to them.

Quality isn’t about some search engine algorithm. It’s about delivering on a promise – the promise to feed your website visitors with the very best content in your niche. Do that and the search engines will be happy.

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