Every day, countless webpages are evaluated by Google in order to improve the overall quality of the search results. On the November 12th, 2015 the search company has updated the comprehensive requirements for the assessment of the website content and the quality of sites in general. Shortly thereafter we began to notice significant progress in the ranking lists, which may be a result of the Phantom III update. In any case, there is no doubt that the results have been adjusted in accordance with the new guidelines. Let's take a detailed look at the situation.
Updated guidelines: focus on user needs
Google's list of quality requirements is extremely important because it allows us to understand how the search engine divides the sites and decides, which of them are of needed quality.
As you know, in summer of 2015, the CEO-community has witnessed the effects of Phantom II update. For example, many sites have suffered significant losses in terms of visibility. However, certain factors which could entail substantial losses as a result of the update, were to be reviewed and changed. As a result, some sites that had lost the great part of traffic, were relieved to see the partial restoration of their positions. Users’ expectations and goals are now at the heart of the website evaluation process. So the degree of satisfaction of each visitor and the outcome of visits recommended by the system resources are now the base of this process.
Web page and its content quality evaluation
Low quality content.
Content that does not provide user with information needed or is not the most relevant to the search query entered, will be evaluated as low-quality. This means category pages will suffer in particular. Category pages are main pages collecting information from multiple subpages and product data with links at the top and at the bottom of the content. Google guidelines are quite clear about accordance of the web pages’ to user needs. That is a basic rule.
- Example 1: wambie.com.
In this example, the category page has no information about existing games and has no active links leading to pages that user wants to visit. Of course, this page does not meet users' needs, which means an obvious decline in visibility. According to the Google guidelines, this page will be evaluated as low quality content.
- Example 2: simplyrecipes.com
On this site there are a lot of quite large sized texts that are not connected with recipes. As a result, it seems that this content does not meet the needs of users - which are described as getting information on cooking. Accordingly, the site loses traffic.
Take for example this page (http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_cheesecake/) with cheesecake recipe. At the beginning of the text there is a big part, which is not a manual for preparation of desserts. As a result - sites with pages more relevant to the objectives of the visitors get more traffic. Thus, the contents of this website: (http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/cheesecake-factory-original-cheesecake) meets the expectations of users better, so the visibility and the traffic are higher.
- Example 3: thekitchn.com
A good example of a recipe website, which Google “loves”. After an impressive raising of SEO-visibility in the last few months, the site has received even more; it got up higher in the Phantom III updated rankings .
This success, for the most part, has been made possible thanks to the creation of high-quality content. For example, this website is regularly updating and expanding the recipes, which results with a great information base, using thousands (!) of keywords. Moreover, all the contents of the site is really useful for visitors.
Experts know that Phantom II has negatively assessed duplicate or very similar content posted on the site. The resources with such sins were strictly penalized. However, the new guidelines have changed this - for a number of subjects such duplicate content will no longer be a problem. Thus, the sanctions will not affect sites that publish, for example, the songs’ lyrics. The similarity of the information published on such resources is obvious, but it is really essential for users who want, for example, to compare several translations of favorite hits.
This innovation will also touch sites with dictionaries. As a result of Phantom update, such a famous website as «Merriam Webster», dictionaries and reference books publisher, has lost about 13% of its visibility, becoming one of the champions of this sad statistics. However, the new update has almost completely brought it back to former positions - the site became the leader of the SERPs, earning 398.016 points of SEO-visibility.
- Example 1: Merriam Webster.
A very good example, which is likely to be similar to other sites of these themes.
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So, the similarity of content on more than one resource or within a single site in each case may bring different results. All again, it depends on how it corresponds users needs.
We can without doubt say that the company is moving in the right direction, which gives some reason to hope that soon these positive changes in the principles of ranking websites will affect all other websites. So, the search engine will become even more fair and just.
Another area affected by the update algorithms are foreign brand keywords. Given the Google guidelines, it can be assumed that the cause is still the same - correspondence to users goals. So, if a person is looking on the Internet for some particular brand, then his intentions are quite clear. Opening the partner’s page that contains the names of brands as keywords, no-one will be presumably satisfied with the results. At least, that's what Google says.
On this site when you click on the product page, you are at first redirected to the partner sites containing branded keywords. Not every visitor will be happy with this, which means that the search engine has every reason to reduce the visibility of the resource.
The results of the expert examination suggest that the update of Google list of quality requirements does have a direct impact on the ranking. Although the search engine company has not yet officially confirmed the update, technical data allows us - with a high degree of certainty - say that the algorithm now takes these innovations into account.
As a result, the resources that follow the guidelines are now more or less protected from the system sanctions.