Strategies for Maintaining Site Quality

Apr 7


Newpath Web

Newpath Web

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In a recent Google Hangout, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller revealed some key information regarding how site quality is determined.


A viewer asked whether a new but poorly translated version of a website could have an impact on the SEO results of the site’s main language versions.


To put this in a practical context,Strategies for Maintaining Site Quality Articles if you run an e-commerce store in English and decide to launch a French version, but the quality of your French site is not very good, will that have an impact on your company’s overall SEO rankings?

In Mueller’s words:


                                                ‘I guess the short answer is yes.’


We’ll go into more detail shortly but what do professionals providing SEO services in Melbourne believe this means for website owners who are struggling with continuity across their entire website? Is it true that one poor section of your site can undo all your hard work elsewhere? We’re about to find out!


Why is site quality important?

The answer to this question might seem fairly self-explanatory, but it’s important to discuss as it relates to Google’s mission.


In their own words, Google’s aim is to:


            ‘Organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’


The search engine does this by a process known as crawling and indexing. Crawling refers to the behaviour of Google’s search engine bots, which scan websites in order to gain a better idea of what content they contain. Their findings are then indexed or stored in Google’s massive library.


When a user types a certain keyword into Google, like ‘black cotton t-shirt’ for example, Google uses the information it has gathered to try and provide a highly relevant response. Google aims to provide users with the best experience possible, meaning they will only direct traffic to your site if they believe it is reputable, functional, and won’t put user information at risk. This is where the term ‘site quality’ enters the picture.


Site quality is one of Google’s ranking factors — the categories of information they consider when trying to decide which websites will be most relevant to a user. Google has hundreds of ranking factors that make for very complex algorithms. Part of the role of a team providing SEO services in Melbourne is understanding these factors and how they impact on search engine results. 


So the short answer? Site quality is important because Google will only recommend websites that are high quality.


What makes a quality website?

This is probably your next question, and it’s both a simple and complex one. Truth be told, you will know a quality website as soon as you see it. It’s functional, visually appealing, and doesn’t come with warning signs that the website owner is trying to steal your private information.


From an SEO perspective, there are several factors that impact on site quality:


Unique content: Google values high-quality, relevant, and unique content. It signals that you have thought about what your potential customers are looking for and have taken the time to create user-centric content.


Backlinks: Backlinks are links from external websites that direct to your own. The thing about backlinks is that not all are created equal. Some are more valuable in the eyes of Google than others, specifically those that come from high-ranking websites. A backlink from the ABC, for example, carries much more weight than one from a spam blog.


Load time: Internet users are not a patient bunch. In fact, most will abandon your website if it takes longer than four seconds to load. Google understands this is an important metric for internet users and so values sites that provide a quick, efficient user experience.


Responsive design: Since 2019, Google has been following what is known as ‘mobile-first indexing best practises’. This means that the mobile version of your site is the primary source Google uses to index and crawl. Failure to provide users with a good mobile experience (through the user of responsive web design) is very costly from an SEO perspective.


There are plenty more factors that contribute to a quality website.


Will I be penalised for one poor page?

A website is like a book in that it’s made up of many individual pages. Website owners often wonder whether Google will penalise them for one poor quality page or, as in the above example, a poor quality secondary version of the site.


In response to this, Mueller explained:


            ‘It’s more a matter of us trying to understand the quality of the website overall…And that’s usually not something where they’re individual things that we could just point at and say oh if you have five misspellings on a page, that’s a sign of low quality.’


From this, we can safely say it’s unlikely that Google will penalise you for an error here and there. However, these things add up from both a user and an SEO perspective. Potential customers are unlikely to hang around too long if they start to notice too many small errors, a fact that will be noted by Google’s search engine bots.


If you have any doubt about certain areas of your website or want to know more about how Google determines site quality, it’s best to speak with a team that provides SEO services in Melbourne to gain a professional perspective.

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