Can You Spot the Expert? Test Your Knowledge of Google’s Content Quality Standards

Can You Spot the Expert? Test Your Knowledge of Google’s Content Quality Standards

Reader Comments (30)

  1. I loved this! Thanks so much Demian – usually talk of SEO and Google rules make my eyes glaze over.

    But this was riveting, and a fabulous way to learn a not so sexy topic. And because I was able to visualize the examples – much more likely to stick!

    My biggest takeaway – keep writing in depth articles.

    Question – how does Google view podcast content? Pages such as show notes don’t have a ton of detail, and I add a new show notes page to my site each week. Is there a penalty there because the content is “thin” – short, mostly bulleted, etc.?

    • Glad you enjoyed Sonia! and podcast pages won’t be penalized as much as just ignored. This is why including introductory/body copy for each show will help search, as well as providing the transcript. The problem that podcasts face (content is not searchable) is the same problem that video faces. This is overcome by transcripts.

      Hope that helps!

  2. I love copyblogger.

    This article resonated with me because as a word spinner on the great Interweb, I’ve written about most things from injury law to solar panels, so I feel your pain, buddy.

    These days I try to focus on topics that interest me: SEO, apps for writers, creative writing and ePublishing. I’ve also written extensively about filmmaking, which I absolutely love doing. Funnily enough, I enjoyed the solar panel project because I like popular science, especially Physics and tecchy stuff, so happy to write about it. The problem, as you rightly point out, is mean time constraints (5 articles a day, anyone?) which rob the writer of the time to polish and sparkle. Now, when I write for my blog, I can huff, puff and shine as much as I want. It makes me happy that Google punishes the rubbish.

    I don’t get to tap into your content as often as I’d like, but I’m working on it. This article has confirmed some practices I follow, which is great, and also given me some new tips. I found the advice on how to research especially useful, because I always worry I don’t have enough authority. I’m sure many writers feel the same and are concerned about providing value for money.

    When I construct an article to entice humans and to give the web bots something to graze on, I get the biggest buzz out of creating my sub-headings. I don’t hit the jackpot every time, but I have fun trying. Keyword embedding is an art form, and it’s very entertaining to make them invisible if you can.

    Thanks for this one. Keep up the good work. Hoping I can reach your A-lister standards one day.

  3. Good post and practical examples. And thank you for writing a summary and takeaway points of what we should have learned from the post and from Google’s search quality rating guidelines.

    • Yeah, knew the summary would be helpful because most people would look at that and say: too long, won’t read. 😀

  4. Great post! I’ve never understood how Google evaluates authority. It always seemed vague. This post gives concrete examples that help me understand. I did not know that inconsistent blogging will be penalized. New inspiration and motivation to meet my deadlines! I also didn’t know that comments on Quora drive authority. I read Quora often but don’t comment. Maybe now I will. Thanks.

    • Hey Nancy, not so much penalized, but rather ignored, forgotten. Google likes to see fresh content, and likes to see old content updated, refreshed.

      Hope this helps, and good from hearing from you.

  5. Great column. The best quote and advice was “Write content a professional print magazine would publish.” Thanks for the post.

  6. Wow, so good — thanks for this detail and the fun examples. Definitely a keeper that I’ll refer to over and over. I’ll be able to use these tips on both my freelance site and blog.

    Thanks, Demian!

  7. I’m confused….
    I can see how google can trace spelling mistakes, but how can an algorithm judge the quality of the content? How can it tell if it’s deep, or if the expert has tried his recommendations for himself? This involves a Human reading experience….
    As I said, I’m confused ?

  8. Hi Demian,
    I love the way you intertwine a bunch of topics and subjects and they flow into an enjoyable read. This article really helped me to get a better understanding of what Google wants from us.

    Also, Demian I’m waiting for your next youtube skits! You seemed to start a few years ago then stopped! :))

  9. Thanks for the great information Demian
    I have a 10 year old blog with over 5,000 articles, many ranking very well so I believe I’ve achieved a level of Authority

    But with do much “old” content (in the arena of real estate investment and wealth creation, it would be impossible to update all of it. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    • You can get rid of all the ones that get little to no traffic, and that will lighten your load. From their you can start updating the ones that rank well, and work your way backwards.

  10. Awesome article Demian. Your introduction instantly caught my attention. Guess what? You have some “colleagues” from medical niche within this comment section 😀

  11. Likewise, Demian!

    Mind if I ask you if you have any particular interest in Google updates? Currently working on a Penguin related article. I know that it’s not related to copywriting, but still… I decided to ask you anyway 🙂

    Either way, keep up the awesome writing. Content is, has been and will continue to be king.


  12. Hi Demian,
    Thanks for great content quality tips you just explained above. Few points really interesting.

    Targeting audience not google is what required these days. Since google seo has changed there are many more to come in different way.


  13. Good insight. Google is going for quality. Our agency talks with Google daily (Google trains our adwords team), and I’ve realized that Google cares about one thing–answering a question well. So the better we answer questions with our content, the more we get Google’s attention. Plus all the other back end SEO stuff…

    • Dylan, thank you so much for the comment, and the insider confirmation. Love this line: “Google cares about one thing–answering a question well.” Gonna quote you sometime. 😀

  14. Sorry to expert writers. But i think content writing is the most boring work on this plant. I”m a PHP programmer but i am creating my own blog for sharing y knowledge. I’m writing from previous one month that a 10x boring than programming. I don’t know how you feel.

  15. I’m glad Google is saying this now. I remember several times in the past 15 years when Google spokespeople would say that while they were looking for good quality content, the quality and mechanics of the writing was not a ranking factor. Every time they would say that, it would surprise me, but I guess they just couldn’t figure out how to do it in an automated process.

  16. Content writing is one of the lovable work I do. I love to write for my blog as well as companies. It is one of the things that I do with keen interest and will. How do you feel fellas?


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