Google's Guidelines For High Quality Websites

May 26, 2011

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With the buzz around the internet marketing community with the latest big update from Google to their algorithm dubbed as Panda aka Farmer update, Google has come out with some guidelines in producing high quality websites.

The Google Panda Update was designed to kick low quality websites out of ranking high in Google. There is a lot of low quality websites online that Google has to crawl and sift through and I think Google is just fed up with it, plus users do not like looking at junk all of the time. There have been big companies that have been hit by this update including and to list a couple. Plus Google has also been penalizing companies who are getting links from spammy low quality websites including JCPenny, Forbes and Overstock who have participated in shady linking practices. Matt Cutts has officially announced that they have lifted the Penalty from JCPenny after they had them in a Penalty mode for 90 days.

Google is not messing around and is changing the algorithm to put more weight into high quality content. One of the largest copywriting companies in the world, Copify, said they have noticed a surge in jobs coming in since the Panda update started rolling out in February. Having much higher quality content on websites for them to rank well is now becoming even more prevalent.

Here is a a video from Matt Cutts talking about the Google Panda update:

The list that he is talking about in this video is from a blog post from Amit Singhal who is with the search quality team at Google. Here are just a few of the questions that Amit posed that may help people understand guidelines from Google for high quality websites.

  • Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
  • Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
  • Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
  • Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  • Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  • Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
  • Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
  • Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?