When it comes to enhancing the ranking of a website across search engine result pages, Google has made no secret of the fact that high quality content is of extreme importance. However, when it comes to defining high quality content, a number of varied and opinionated answers are provided. This is because quality is a subjective term that is based on the needs and expectations of different individuals. However, in keeping with its mission of organising global information, Google has now taken the initiative of guiding its users about identifying the highest quality content during web search. The search engine giant intends to encourage the success of skilled publishers, responsible for providing a major percentage of high quality content online.
How Google Defines High Quality Content
In order to understand how Google plans to enable quality content for its users, it is first important to understand the search engine’s definition of such content. Rather than providing a well worded definition about quality content, Google advises the webmasters to follow the below mentioned guidelines for ensuring quality content.
- Make sure that the web page content is written for actual users not search engines
- Avoid using automatically generated content or pages having little or no original content
- Avoid techniques such as cloaking, sneaky redirects, using hidden text or links and sending automated queries to Google
- Make sure to monitor a website for hacked content and removing it as soon as it appears
- Preventing the publication of user-generated spam on the website and removing it at the earliest
Techniques Used By Google For Enabling Quality Content
Having learnt about the guidelines set forth by the technology giant for creation of quality content, it is time to get familiar with the techniques being used to enable the same. The most important of these techniques is that of providing free sampling of subscription content. Not many users are aware of the fact that subscription content plays a vital role in sustaining the online information ecosystem. However in most cases, the subscription content is obstructed by paywalls, which often drive the users away in search of free content. This is because the paywall obstruction prevents the users from understanding the quality and richness of the subscription content and in fact makes them shy away from such sites. Thus by providing a free sampling of such content the webmasters can make the users aware of the informative value of subscription content.
In this respect the First Click Free policy designed by Google, was aimed to overcome the problem of obstruction of subscription content. The policy enables the Google users to discover such content while also providing an opportunity for the publishers to ensure it promotion and discovery amongst the target audiences. The technology giant even created detailed best practices manual to implement flexible sampling in the most effective manner. The search engine advises the use of one of the two formats for sampling, namely metering and lead-in. While the first format provides the users access to a quota of free articles, the second provides them a sneak peak of the articles without revealing the whole content.