In a Google SEO office-hours hangout Google’s John Mueller offered a broader definition of what content quality really means. His definition expands on what it means to have quality content and can help publishers who are experiencing issues with content quality.
In general, when the SEO industry focuses on content quality they’re often focusing on improving things related to E-A-T, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
The definition of content quality that Mueller shared encompasses E-A-T and even goes beyond that.
Why Content Quality is Important
Content quality can affect a site’s rankings both positively and negatively. It can even cause Google to not trust a site and not display rich results from the website.
Over the years the SEO industry has focused on author signals, the quantity of advertising on the page, and the text of the content itself.
But what Mueller said about content quality encompasses those signals and extends even further.
Question About Quality Content and SEO
The question asked in the Google Hangout was in the context of the relative importance of technical SEO versus content quality.
Here is the question:
“I know it’s been said before that making technical improvements is less important to SEO than having quality content.”
Mueller stopped reading the question to talk about the importance of technical SEO then began addressing what quality content really means.
This is How Google Defines Quality Content
John Mueller addressed the issue of quality content to explain that it’s more than just text.
“When it comes to the quality of the content, we don’t mean like just the text of your articles.
It’s really the quality of your overall website.
And that includes everything from the layout to the design.
Like, how you have things presented on your pages, how you integrate images, how you work with speed, all of those factors they kind of come into play there.”
Google has been saying for years that images are important and published developer pages about optimizing images and how to use those properly for SEO.
Many people in the SEO industry have discounted the importance of page speed but Mueller says that page speed contributes to how Google views content quality.
Most importantly, he points out how all of it is presented on the page also has an impact on how Google views content quality.
This is a big deal because it expands on the definition of what it means to have high quality content.
Mueller continued his explanation:
“So it’s not the case that we would look at just purely the text of the article and ignore everything else around it and say, oh this is high quality text.
We really want to look at the website overall.”
Definition of Quality Content Has a Wide Scope
Mueller’s definition of quality content is far more expansive than it is commonly understood.
A search on Google or Bing using the search term, “what is quality content?” reveals many websites answering the question by saying it’s all about the text.
But apparently, according to Google, quality content means far more than just the text. It includes the images, layout, how everything is presented, page speed and other factors, some of which relates to the user experience and how information is delivered to a site visitor.
Content Quality is More than Text: Layout, Design, Images
Watch at the 23:12 minute Mark
Roger Montti is a search marketer with 20 years experience.
I offer site audits and link building strategies.