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Signals of Signals of Quality Content

1. Engagement Metrics

When a search engine delivers a page of results to you, it can measure the success of the rankings by observing how you engage with those results. If you click the first link, then immediately hit the back button to try the second link, this indicates that you were not satisfied with the first result. Search engines seek the “long click” – where users click a result without immediately returning to the search page to try again. Taken in aggregate over millions and millions of queries each day, the engines build up a good pool of data to judge the quality of their results.

2. Machine Learning

In 2011 Google introduced the Panda update to its ranking algorithm, significantly changing the way it judged websites for quality. Google started by using human evaluators to manually rate thousands of sites, searching for low quality content. Google then incorporated machine learning to mimic the human evaluators. Once its computers could accurately predict what the humans would judge a low quality site, the algorithm was introduced across millions of sites spanning the Internet. The end result was a seismic shift that rearranged over 20% of all of Google’s search results.

3. Linking Patterns

The engines discovered early on that the link structure of the web could serve as a proxy for votes and popularity; higher quality sites and information earned more links than their less useful, lower quality peers. Today, link analysis algorithms have advanced considerably, but these principles hold true.

Keyword Stuffing

Ever see a page that just looks spammy? Perhaps something like:

“Bob’s cheap Seattle plumber is the best cheap Seattle plumber for all your plumbing needs. Contact a cheap Seattle plumber before it’s too late.”

Not surprisingly, a persistent myth in SEO revolves around the concept that keyword density—the number of words on a page divided by the number of instances of a given keyword—is used by the search engines for relevancy and ranking calculations.

Despite being disproved time and again, this myth has legs. Many SEO tools still feed on the concept that keyword density is an important metric. It’s not. Ignore it and use keywords intelligently and with usability in mind. The value from an extra 10 instances of your keyword on the page is far less than earning one good editorial link from a source that doesn’t think you’re a search spammer.

Website Content Value

As we’ve seen, an individual page’s value is computed in part based on its uniqueness and the visitor’s experience; likewise is the entire domain’s value assessed. Sites that primarily serve non-unique, non-valuable content may find themselves unable to rank, even if classic on- and off-page SEO is well-optimized. The engines simply don’t want thousands of copies of Wikipedia filling up their indexes, so they use algorithmic and manual review methods to prevent this.

Search engines constantly evaluate the effectiveness of their own results. They measure when users click on a result, quickly hit the back button on their browser, and try another result. This indicates that the result they served didn’t meet the user’s expectations.

It’s not enough just to rank for a query. Once you’ve earned your ranking, you have to prove it over and over again.

Evaluate the Accessibility of Your Website

Ask theses questions?

  • Is content structurally separate from navigational elements?
  • Is the website optimized for mobile?
  • How compliant is the website with W3C coding standards? Valid HTML/CSS?
  • Are ‘alt’ tags in place on all significant images?
  • Are text-based alternatives in place to convey essential information if this is featured within images or multimedia files?
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Starter SEO Package Price: R 1,900.00 pm – E-mail us at info@webmasterservices.co.za to get this SEO offer.