There’s a very useful post over on Google’s Webmaster blog about what Google looks for in deciding whether or not a site, and the content it provides, is high quality. This is becoming an increasingly important issue for Google, and for those who want their content to perform well in Google search results. Links to a site, both high in quality and number, are still an important basic component of search engine optimisation, but quality of content should now be top of SEO ‘to do’ lists in the way it didn’t have to be in Google’s early days.
Here’s what Google itself says:
Our advice for publishers continues to be to focus on delivering the best possible user experience on your websites and not to focus too much on what they think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or signals. Some publishers have fixated on our prior Panda algorithm change, but Panda was just one of roughly 500 search improvements we expect to roll out to search this year. In fact, since we launched Panda, we’ve rolled out over a dozen additional tweaks to our ranking algorithms, and some sites have incorrectly assumed that changes in their rankings were related to Panda. Search is a complicated and evolving art and science, so rather than focusing on specific algorithmic tweaks, we encourage you to focus on delivering the best possible experience for users.
The full post is well worth a read, especially for the list of questions it provides which people should bear in mind when trying to provide high quality sites.