Search engines are getting smarter with every passing day. It is evident from the frequent algorithm updates of the engine itself and the changes in the search ranking of various websites following one. While some websites manage to stay on top after algorithm updates are rolled out, other take a hit and struggle to climb back up the list of search results again.
Each search engine has its own criteria that it uses to rank different web pages. However, there a few common factors that determine the fate of a web page regardless of algorithm updates. One of the crucial ones is bad quality. All search engines penalise low-quality websites and demote them in search results to give way to high-quality web pages. To ensure that your website is not penalised, identify the low-quality pages and either remove them from your site or address the problem. Here are a few tips to get started.
- Uniqueness: You must have unique high-quality content on your website. Grammatical and spelling mistakes and plagiarised content are the big culprits that ruin content quality. Search engines are smart enough to recognize original content that was published first and identify plagiarised copies, even ones that try to get past the problem with amateurish methods like using alternative words and synonyms. It is perfectly alright to take inspiration from somewhere else or share someone’s content – with their permission of course – as long as you credit the original source on your page.
- Answers to User Queries: Keyword research and SEO content writing services can help you rank high in search results for relevant keywords. However, to maintain your ranking even after subsequent algorithm updates, your content must address the user’s query. Bounce rate is not the only indicator of how good a page really is. Most search engines know if a visitor went back to the search engine from your webpage and searched for the same query to visit another site. This indicated the user was not satisfied with your answer or content. You need to see your goal conversion rate in addition to bounce rate to find the low-quality pages.
- Links to High-Quality Resources: Search engines love it when websites link to authoritative and high-quality websites for additional reading. The reason is that it allows a reader to access additional resources without the need to go back to the search page. It improves customer experience and also establishes the web page as having quality content that links to relevant resources. The best option is to go for a good mix of relevant internal and external resources to link from a page.
- Has Social Proof: One of the biggest reason websites have integrated social media share buttons, widgets, and feeds on their websites is that it acts as a proof of a social media presence to a new visitor. This phenomenon is also called social proof within the industry and has been to known to produce effects like favourable perceptions and inspire user trust. If a page has been liked and shared on social media, new visitors regard it as an establish high-quality authority on the subject. In turn, such visitors are now more likely to like and share your page or website and follow you on social media. Search engines also consider these social signals when ranking a web page. You can hire a firm that provides Social Media Marketing services to maximise the potential and performance of your content on various social media platforms.
Based on the preceding points, you can divide your content into three sections – Keep, Improve, and Delete. They can be further divided based on their importance. It can be tough to identify low-quality pages on your website since most webmasters fail to see mistakes in their own work. Metrics like the bounce rate, time on page, organic visits, conversions, etc can help you narrow down on underperforming and bad pages. It is crucial to be objective and take decisions proactively before the search engines take action.