Google quality guide: 22 sensible questions to ask yourself

Google’s recent Panda / Farmer algorithm update has resulted in holy chaos for sites falling fallen foul of it’s insistence on quality. So what is ‘quality’… and what isn’t?

Here’s a list of questions Google suggests you ask yourself before uploading new content to your website or analysing your existing site to see if you can do better:

Google’s quality content questions

  1. Would you trust the information?
  2. Is it written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well or is it shallow?
  3. Does the site include duplicate / overlapping / redundant content on the same / similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  4. Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to the site?
  5. Does it include spelling, stylistic or factual mistakes?
  6. Are the topics created with the genuine interests of readers in mind or does it generate content by attempting to guess what’ll rank high in search engines?
  7. Does it deliver original content, information, reporting, research or analysis?
  8. Does it give good value when compared to similar pages in the search results?
  9. How much quality control has there been?
  10. Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  11. Is the site a recognised authority on the subject?
  12. Is the content mass produced by (or outsourced to) multiple creators or spread across a large network of sites, meaning individual pages / sites don’t get as much care and attention?
  13. Is it edited well? Or is it sloppy and rushed?
  14. Would you recognise the site as an authoritative source by name?
  15. Does it provide a complete, comprehensive description of the topic?
  16. Does it contain insightful analysis or interesting information beyond the glaringly obvious?
  17. Is it the kind of thing you’d bookmark, share or recommend?
  18. Are there too many adverts that distract from / interfere with the main content?
  19. Is it good enough so you’d expect to see it in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  20. Are the articles short, unsubstantial or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
  21. Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail… or not?
  22. Would people complain about it for any reason?