Google has unveiled some new search quality rating guidelines that are more stringent than ever. As you probably know, the purpose of these guidelines is to help their search engine spider. And better understand your website and in turn, provide a better user experience for people who use Google’s search engine.
The guidelines are grouped into ‘High’ and ‘Low’ quality rating factors. The top High-Quality Factors of eCommerce SEO services are mentioned below. Together with some need-to-know analysis on each of them.
1) Efficient use of screen space (for all devices)
If your website isn’t designed to be viewed on all devices (including smartphones) then Google is probably going to see this as a ‘Low’ quality factor.
2) Mobile-friendly or mobile version of the site:
Some say that if your website isn’t optimized for viewing on small screens, like smartphones. Then Google may down-rank you in their search results pages for smartphone users.
3) URL structure By default:
your URLs should contain relevant keywords and be simple for humans to make sense of them. Google is almost certainly going to see ambiguous or complicated URLs as a ‘Low’ quality factor.
4) Pagination In short:
pagination allows you to split your content over several web pages. It can be useful when you have a lot of content or the content is very long. Google will see multiple URLs for the same piece of content as a ‘Low’ quality factor.
5) Content on every page
A regular, navigable hierarchy of your site’s pages with sufficient text-based content to support each page. If you have pages on your site that are highly navigable but don’t contain content, e.g. about us pages. Then Google is almost certainly going to see this as a ‘Low’ quality factor.
6) No duplicate or overlapping domains
A significant number of websites in most markets share the same root domain name i.e. they have all been created by the same person or organization. It is far less common to see websites from different organizations, which share a root domain name e.g. ‘www.sainsburysbank-onlinebanking.co.uk’. This will usually be seen as a ‘Low’ quality factor because Google understands that it’s hard for users to have confidence in websites that are related to each other.
7) Fresh content
A site with fresh content is more likely to keep users on your site according to the rules of SEO. Rather than lose them because your content doesn’t seem relevant or up-to-date. Google will see a lack of recent. Timely updates as a ‘Low’ quality factor.
This includes factors like the number of links from other important sites pointing to your website, how well established a website is and whether it has been recently targeted by hackers. Another interesting point about the ‘Authority’ section is that Google says they will look at all links to your site, not just the homepage.
Google will probably look at all incoming links to your website, so it is important that you build quality backlinks with relevant anchor text. They will also look at the authority of the pages on which these backlinks are located. Google says they won’t punish websites for ‘selling links’ (paying for them) but they do regard this practice as a ‘Low’ quality factor.
10) Page content
It is primarily user-generated It’s important to remember that the purpose of any website is to provide its users with what they need – whether it be text, images, or video. Google uses automated systems (spiders and crawlers) to assess the content on web pages. So you need to make sure that your site’s user-generated content is relevant and of high quality. If Google’s search results are full of ‘spam’ or badly written articles then this will definitely be seen as a ‘Low’ quality factor.
11) Syndicated content
From my own personal experience, if you have any syndicated copy or articles on your website then this may well reduce the ‘Rank’ that Google awards to it. This is probably because Google will reason that the people reading these articles didn’t come from your site. And weren’t interested enough in them to remember where they came from.
12) Hacked sites
A website that has recently been targeted by hackers is more likely to be seen as a ‘Low’ quality factor. Google’s advice is that you should ensure your files are up-to-date and regularly backed up. They also say content on hacked pages should be removed as soon as possible. So that other people who visit that page won’t be exposed to the malicious code.
13) Broken Links
It’s better for your users if there are no broken links on your site. Because they will be unable to navigate around it easily – particularly if Google has indexed it well. This will usually be seen as a ‘Low’ quality factor in SEO.
14) Site Architecture
There are a number of different ways in which your site’s architecture can affect its quality. For example, if it is very difficult for users to navigate around your website then this may be considered a ‘Low’ quality factor. Another thing that Google says they will look out for is when a huge proportion of pages on a site are only connected to each other by a small number of pathways – meaning that they have very little value.
If you have a website, you will probably want it to be as easy as possible for your users to find it on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. This is why Google has recently announced that it will be using the ‘Mobile-Friendly’ label as a ranking factor. It’s important to note. However, this is not currently used as the main ranking signal – but it does have a significant effect on your website’s quality score.
16) Site speed
Google states that site speed may affect a website’s ‘Quality Score’ in the short or long term. They say that if your pages take a long time to load then this will be seen as a negative factor. Meaning that they may not rank so highly in Google’s results.
17) Site freshness
Much like the ‘Authority’ section, this factor deals with how often Google crawls or re-indexes your site. I wouldn’t worry too much about this as long as you’re keeping your website up-to-date and regularly adding new content, but if you’ve been putting off the digital equivalent of spring cleaning for a while then it’s probably worth having a look at how often Google comes to visit your site.
18) User reviews and comments
It’s probably fair to say that the system of Google’s ‘Authority’ is built upon an assumption that as a site gets more links (and therefore authority), it must be good. But nothing could be further from the truth. This is why user reviews and comments can become such useful SEO ranking factors. Because it allows Google to find out what real people are saying about your site.
19) How many other sites link to you
As mentioned before that the more links a page have to point at it. The more important Google will consider it to be. Well, since Google is now returning results in which they display websites that link to your website. This means that links from websites with a high ‘Rank’ and/or ‘Authority’ will be more powerful than those with a lower SEO rank and/or authority. I would advise you to always try to get as many of these as possible.
20) The anchor text of external backlinks
The ‘Anchor Text’ is the text that surrounds a link and it indicates to Google what the page being linked to is about in SEO. This means that if you have an external site linking to your home page with the anchor text “Learn How To Be Successful Online”. Then this would be seen as a positive ranking factor (because it tells Google what your site is about). Whereas if this link was just “Click Here”, then it would be considered relatively unimportant.
21) The location of external links
If you have a list of links on your website that point to other websites, usually found in the footer or sidebar areas, then these can be very powerful SEO ranking factors. What you want to avoid is having a list of links that are all bunched together and pointing at random websites. You should try to create a structured way of ordering these so that they tell Google which sites are the most important or reputable.