What is a quality website for a search engine?
The notion of quality of a website has become crucial for webmasters since that day of 24 February 2011 when the Panda Update was applied and 12% of sites are seen penalized for a question of quality. But what is quality from the point of view of a search engine?
Quality of a website or page by Google
A summary of the list given by Google to explain the Panda algorithm:
- The article is it written by an expert or an enthusiastic with good knowledge about the subject?
- Is there duplicate content, content overlapping or redundant content on the same topic, with small variations of keywords?
- The article does it contain spelling errors, or bad style or cons-truths?
- The topics are they genuinely chosen or to be better positioned in search results?
- The article gives it an original information, a new story, its own research, a personal analysis?
- The page gives it an added value compared to other pages on the same topic?
- The site is it recognized as an authority on the topic?
- The article is it well written or is it apparently hastily produced?
- The article gives it a complete and exhaustive description of the topic it deals to?
- Articles are they short, without substance or without interest?
- The pages are they produced with great attention to detail or without worrying about details?
Actually we would like Google's results pages containing only these quality sites matching the description it gives!
How does Google know this is a quality site?
There is no absolute criterion for determining the quality of a thing. Longevity and efficiency criteria are commonly used in the real world, but it is difficult to apply them to a website. Different people expect different services and also tastes vary.
In fact Google evaluates quality of sites using a mathematical formula based on the ratio between the number of independent backlinks and the number of search queries that put a site in the results. (Ref USPTO Patent 8,682,892).
If a site is too well referenced and come often in results pages while it has few backlinks from completely independent sources, it is considered poor quality.
It is not related to design because content farms, the main targets of Panda, have a good design and are actually fun to visit. But their content is dull. These sites drain queries with keywords integrated in a banal text. This does not trigger backlinks.
See also: Quality of a website for a visitor. Design and overall building.