Are Google’s SEO and quality score strategy the same?

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While on the SEO subject I found this… very interesting… and at the end of the day a good thing. Make sure to read and implement.

An summary –

What Google tells us to do
Google preaches one thing: quality experience — for its users and your potential customers. To that end Google has taken it upon itself to ensure that the page you deliver is of high quality. Here’s what the company says it is specifically looking for:

  • Relevance: This is a no-brainer: If you sell electronics and someone clicks on your ad for a “digital camera,” send them to your digital camera page, not your home page.
  • Originality: Okay, that’s a weird one. Google specifically says “Feature unique content that can’t be found on another site.” Uh-oh, does this mean that my RSS feeds from related content sites aren’t helping me? Probably not. If Google says they want content that can’t be found on another site, then you can be sure they’re searching for your content on other sites. If they find it, your quality score will suffer.
  • Transparency: This covers the general best practices — like being open and clear about the nature of your business. If you offer a downloadable product or collect personal information from your users then there’s a lot to know and follow in order to stay on Google’s good side.
  • Navigability: Make it simple for users to find what they’re looking for. Keep the sales process short and to the point. Don’t use things like pop-ups, pop-unders or sliders.

Not wanted
Some of you are going to have a very hard time because Google is specifically targeting your site for removal. If you’re wondering which sites fall in this particular group, Google has laid it out. Here’s what they don’t want:

Data collection sites:
What, no more free iPods?

Arbitrage sites: The bane of Google’s existence.

Malware sites: Of course they’re on the list. Problem here is what is Google using to distinguish good software from bad software? Here are more guidelines for software publishers to read and follow.

eBook sites “that show frequent ads”:
Scrape together a bunch of content, wrap it all with tons of ads and make a good site? Not anymore. Here’s where unoriginal content gets hit.

Get rich quick sites:
(But I love pyramids!) Anytime making money is “Guaranteed” you know the business, and the site, are garbage. We should see the end of these sites on Google very soon.

Comparison shopping sites:
This was a bit of a surprise but makes sense. Google really wants to stop arbitrage and this is an arbitrage play. Pricegrabber, Shopping.com and some of the big guys might be able to make it. If you’re in this business and want to protect yourself, offer original, unique value to your users. That could be reviews, warranty info, user opinions and more. If you don’t, you could see your minimum bids rising soon.

Travel aggregators:
This is another arbitrage victim. Follow the same advice I gave to your buddy above. One example is Travelocity — is it in trouble? Probably not. But others trying to get into the space will have a tough time getting a foothold. What’s the key to getting up and staying up? Original content, relevant results based on the search and some sort of value given to the user.

Cover the basics: Conduct your link exchanges with relevant websites. Make sure your titles, meta tags and descriptions are all well put together.

Choose a topic and stick to it: Each domain should focus on one thing. Don’t try to cover too many products or topics on one site. We can’t all be Wikipedia.

Add a site map: Make it easy for Google to find your pages and content. Use the Sitemap Generator that Google recommends.

Page rank: If you have a few sites to choose from, choose the site that has the best Google page rank. Chances are that if the natural search algorithm likes it, so will the quality score.

Add a blog: A blog does many things. It keeps a dialogue open with your users, it gives you the original content Google is looking for and it gives you an easy way to update your site often. All of those are positives in Google’s eyes.

Make a good site: At the end of the day this is the best advice. Google wants to show users quality sites, whether through natural search clicks or paid clicks. Your best defense is building a large, well-thought-out website and sending your paid clicks to the most relevant page on that site for that click. The days of the quick one-off landing page are over. Are you ready?

Full story – Why Google keywords cost more but deliver less

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