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Capture the Click with Quality Content

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July 31,2014

By Phillip Thune, Textbroker

Defining quality content is an elusive task. A good article is subjective since its importance differs for each reader. Despite being difficult to pinpoint, Google uses specific parameters to identify trustworthy, authoritative content. Articles that contain these four elements have a better chance of improving their organic search engine rankings.

Valuable and Relevant

Published content does not need to be long to have value, but lengthier articles are most likely to contain more thoughtful, complex ideas and the latest research data. The ideal length depends on the type of content being written. A blog post is naturally shorter than a feature article or white paper but there are no set limits on word count.

As a general rule, quality content is authentic, has a purpose and explains the why factor. Whether it is quirky, emotional, informative or satirical, when the content is relevant to readers’ lives, it becomes shareable on social media and serves as credible sources for quality backlinks.

Internal and External Links

Another way that Google judges valuable content is how inbound, internal and external links are employed. Providing relevant links to content published on other trustworthy websites shows that you prioritize the experience of your readers, not your click-through rate. Linking to related secondary content on your own website also increases credibility since it proves that you have extensive knowledge about a topic. Inbound links and social media shares, which Google describes as "editorial votes," are important tools for increasing your organic rankings.

Incorporate a variety of these types of links into your content to gain the greatest advantage. Readers are turned off by a sea of underlined blue words, so you should sparingly include links that truly benefit visitors.

Credibility

Google rewards authors who have extensive knowledge about a subject. However, writers are not required to be professional experts. Depending on the website’s topic, life experience, reputation and reader engagement are also important elements in the equation. Forums, comments and user-submitted articles still have value when they are generated by well-informed citizens or industry experts.

Content marketers can increase credibility by creating About Us and Contact sections as well as by providing author bylines and biographies. A strong Google Authorship profile can help writers establish their expertise, authority and trustworthiness by increasing name recognition and building their brand as an industry leader. Once trust is established between Google and an author, the writer’s content is more likely to reach a higher rank in search results.

Visually Attractive

A website’s credibility is also boosted when it is well-written with proper spelling, grammar, punctuation and cited sources. Avoid changing text to crazy colors, screaming at readers using all caps and excessively adding bold, italics and header tags to grab attention. It is best to keep the copy clean and simple then amp up the page with beautiful photos or helpful illustrations.

According to the latest Quality Ratings Guidelines, Google is also now taking a serious look at how advertisements are employed and penalizing websites that include aggressive and misleading marketing tactics. These include inserting multiple ads into the middle of articles, disguising ads as navigation links to secondary content or requiring readers to scroll past ads before reaching the main content.

 


About the author, Phillip Thune
Mr. Thune is the Chief Executive Officer of Textbroker, which he joined in 2010. Textbroker has grown dramatically as demand for content marketing has increased across the world. Prior to Textbroker, Mr. Thune was the CEO of HireMeNow.com and President of MIVA (previously FindWhat.com), where he helped grow the company from 35 employees and $500,000 in annual revenue to 500 employees and nearly $200 million in five years, raise over $34 million dollars, acquire five businesses for a total of $230 million, and achieve a market capitalization of over $700 million. Mr. Thune also helped lead two different radio broadcasting groups which were among the 25 largest in the U.S.

 

 

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