How does Google define ‘quality content’?

From an SEO point of view, it’s very important that your site is full of “Quality Content”. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Google wants people to see the sites that have good quality, relevant content before the sites that don’t. This isn’t breaking news to most of us, but the way that Google determines quality is changing.

Allow me to explain the most important factors in achieving “quality content”.

Ensure it is relevant and readable

Putting SEO aside, this should be important. However, ranking factors such as word count and Flesch Readability have increased. Since 2014, the average text length of the top 30 pages on Google has increased by 25%. In turn, this means that Google and valuing content that whilst being longer, is easily digestible.  In Google’s eyes, if your content is short it’s unlikely to go very deep into subject matter.

As for readability, it’s relatively simple. Your content may well be brilliant in your eyes but if it’s filled with untranslatable jargon then Google may not agree.

User experience is important

Well, it always has been; but now much more so in Google’s eyes. How much time are people spending on your site? Google are deeming this an increasingly important factor and it is having a significant impact on search rankings.

If your content is easy to navigate then people are far less likely to give up and head somewhere else. Seemingly, it is that simple.

Keywords aren’t as important as they used to be

Don’t get me wrong, keywords are still important, however, filling your site with nonsensical phrases in order to include as many keywords as you can is a bad move. Google have picked up on this. There has been a recent boom in content that is fit for human consumption. This benefits consumers and allows marketers to be more creative with their content.

In saying that, if your content is relevant to the search term, it should naturally contain keywords relating to the subject anyway.

Don’t worry so much about backlinks

The correlation between backlinks and search rankings is decreasing.

What does this mean? It means that unnatural link building is becoming an increasingly poor use of your time. Again, you want to focus on creating content that people genuinely enjoy reading and want to share.

Backlinks with keywords in the anchor text have significantly declined, which is likely a result of Google’s attempts to combat unnatural link building.

Conclusion: Quality content is, in fact, very important

This isn’t surprising, the importance of quality content is something that we’ve been hearing about for a while now. However, what we can conclude is this; The days of marketers “gaming the system” in terms of SEO are limited, it’s now about creating content that appeals to humans, not an algorithm.


If you feel you need a helping hand with your digital marketing make sure you get in touch. Sharp Monkeys is a digital marketing agency based in Worcester.