Tag Archives: Quality Content

How does Google define “Helpful Content”?

How does Google define helpful content

How does Google define helpful content

The news of Google rolling out the new “helpful content” algorithm update is all over the Internet.

I too covered the news a few days ago.

Although content has been at the center stage of every algorithm that Google has rolled out, it is for the first time that the term “helpful content” has been specifically highlighted.

According to Google, in a nutshell, “helpful content” means the content

  • Is created for a specific, targeted audience.
  • Delivers what the searcher is looking for.
  • Shows expertise.
  • Portrays trustworthiness and credibility.

In its blog post on the “helpful content” algorithm update Google has shared some information on what it considers helpful content.

Google suggests that you write and publish people-first content.

Don’t obsess over your search engine rankings.

Don’t write content to make search engine algorithms happy.

There are certain indicators that can tell the Google algorithm that you are writing content for the search engine and not for people.

Google asks you to make the following observations when writing and publishing content on your website or blog:

  • Do people who directly come to your website (not from Google) find your content helpful and useful?
  • Does your website content have a central theme around which you have published detailed content?
  • Do you write articles and blog posts with first-hand experience, and do you share in-depth knowledge of your field?
  • Do people find enough information such that they no longer have to search for the topic somewhere else?
  • Do people feel satisfied after reading what you have published?

What does Google want you to stop doing when publishing content?

  • Stop publishing different versions of the same topic hoping that one of the versions will rank well on Google.
  • Don’t scrape content from other websites just to fill your website or blog with content.
  • Don’t use topics just so that they rank well on Google.
  • Don’t use automated tools to write and publish content on your website and blog.
  • When creating content from other websites, don’t just merely summarise – add more value.
  • Don’t extend your article or blog post to a certain word count just so that it ranks well.
  • Don’t write about a niche topic unless you are an expert in it or you have in-depth knowledge about the topic.
  • Don’t answer questions for which you don’t have a definite answer such as a health-related question or the release of a movie.

Other “helpful content” recommendations by Google

  • Write blog posts and articles from different perspectives, such as, both pros and cons of using a product or a service.
  • When reviewing a product, go beyond what the provider or the manufacturer says, and share your own first-hand experience.
  • Describe in detail how a product performs in different areas – for example, how a mixer grinds different categories of vegetables.
  • Put yourself in the shoes of your readers – would you trust the information you are sharing on your website or blog?
  • Are you sourcing facts and statistics from authoritative websites and blogs?
  • Doublecheck your content for easily verified factual errors.
  • As much as possible, provide information that is original, research-based, and well analysed.
  • Cover exhaustive information about a topic.
  • Deliver in the body content what you have promised in the headline or the meta title.
  • Create content people would like to bookmark, or share, or recommend.
  • Link to useful information on your own website or other authoritative websites.

Google recommends focusing on search intent

People search with different needs.

In this document Google shares some major motivations with which people use the search engine.

  • I want to know: People are looking for information, knowledge, and news.
  • I want to go: People are mostly looking for local businesses where they can go and entertain themselves or have food.
  • I want to do: This is primarily how-to content when people want to solve a problem and are looking for a solution.
  • I want to buy: They are ready to buy, and you just need to keep them focused.

You may also like to read: Why search intent is most important when writing content for your website

5 ways quality content affects your content marketing

5 ways quality content affects your content marketing

5 ways quality content affects your content marketing

There is no denying the fact that quality content is the core building block of a well-established digital marketing strategy.

A compelling and well-structured content shares your brand story and ultimately helps in viewer conversion.

Besides imparting the necessary information, quality content is engaging that helps to grasp and retain the viewer’s attention.

It also triggers their inquisitiveness which makes them want to learn more about the topic.

Every digital marketer, as well as business experts, know the value of high-quality content.

Simply speaking, if you don’t put enough emphasis on generating quality content, no marketing strategies, no matter how good they are, will work.

What is high quality content?

Before divulging further into the ways quality content affects marketing, let us first understand what it exactly is.

Its common characteristics include informative, and helpful.

Quality content also helps to answer all the probable questions regarding the topic.

Moreover, it is unique and original and targets human readers and not search engines.

However, sometimes even the most talented writers commit errors that degrade the content quality.

For example, they make it complicated and therefore hard to understand.

Poor content is also unoriginal, irrelevant, monotonous and tries to manipulate the readers by sharing false information.

Thus, these need to be avoided at all costs.

5 ways quality content impacts marketing

Better conversions

The content you post on your page is one of the primary factors that influence conversions.

The information educates the reader about your brand and its services, a crucial step that determines their purchasing decision.

Besides this, the content also helps to establish a connection between the customer and the company.

This is especially important in the case of blogs as they have immense potential to attract traffic.

I recommend you use original graphics instead of stock photos in your content as the former is more effective due to its uniqueness.

Moreover, please make sure to guide readers on the next step they should take and always include a Call To Action (CTA) button.

Earn customer trust

As already stated above, one of the most common characteristics of quality content is its value and helpfulness.

If readers derive both of these things from your content, they are more likely to put their trust in your brand.

In recent times, buyers have become more cautious, and they do not like to read pretentious content that tries to oversell.

They want to make their own decisions.

Informational and quality content allows them to take their own time to make educated decisions and purchase your company’s services or products.

There is no point in trying to bamboozle or manipulate a modern customer.

They would want to stay loyal to a brand that is successful in delivering all the promises that had been mentioned in the content.

Stand out in the market

High-quality content enables you to stand out from the rest of your competitors in the industry.

Simply speaking, it puts you in a position of authority.

If your website content is credible and informational, there is a good chance of gaining a higher search engine rank, which in turn attracts a higher number of customers.

Quality content also showcases your expertise in the particular field and answers the readers’ inquiries.

Thus, you appear as an industry expert which increases your brand’s trustworthiness.

New business opportunities

Besides gaining more customers, quality content might also attract new investors and business partners.

There is no need to hard sell your business products and services when high-quality content already exists on your website.

If your blog post or some other content featuring yourself or your company succeeds in creating a favorable impression, several profitable investment or partnership opportunities might arise which will help in your business growth.

Save money

There is no denying the fact that marketing is a costly process.

Besides, the money charged by freelancers or in-office full-time writers, you might have to spend way more money on digital marketing strategies such as paid searches if the content is not up to mark.

If you compare marketing methods such as traditional marketing, display advertising and content marketing, there is no better process than content marketing if you wish to garner a greater audience on a limited budget.

How to write quality content?

Now that we have a brief idea of what quality content is and the role it plays in marketing, it is important to know how to write it.

Please remember that you are writing content for the audience and not for yourself or the search engines.

You must consider what your audience would like to read about and make sure to answer and solve all their probable questions and problems regarding the topic.

Research is extremely important.

You need to devote ample amounts of time to proper research.

This not only helps in making the content informational and accurate but also builds language proficiency.

Please make sure that your content is not just informational in a bland way.

People would not prefer reading the entire article if it’s not engaging and captivating enough.

The content structure is also included in this.

There need to be proper headings and subheadings and original images.

Readability also plays a significant role.

People would not like to spend their time deciphering or decoding hard words and complicated sentences.

Moreover, quality content is credible and trustworthy.

As already mentioned before, modern buyers do not prefer hard sales that do not live up to their expectations.

Wrapping up

Thus, we can conclude that high-quality content is a principal factor that determines the success of a digital marketing campaign to a large extent.

It establishes a level of trustworthiness with your target audience and provides them with interesting and valuable information that cannot be found elsewhere.

Track the traffic and leads generated by specific content such as a blog post to ensure if it is doing well.

Lastly, please remember that in the long run, content quality overtakes quantity.

Relationship between quality content writing, bounce rate and SEO

Relationship between quality content writing bounce rate and SEO

Relationship between quality content writing, bounce rate and SEO.

While writing web pages and blog posts I have multiple times explained this concept – the relationship between quality content writing, bounce rate and SEO.

All these are so tightly intertwined when you want to improve your search engine rankings, that any topic on one of them automatically invokes the importance of the others.

Hence, I have created a small video to explain the concept in an animated form.

Let me first quickly explain the three concepts.

Quality content writing

When you are publishing content on your website or blog, don’t publish it just for the heck of it – just to improve your search engine rankings.

I won’t pretend.

Everyone wants to improve his or her search engine rankings because unless you get targeted traffic, nothing much is happening.

After all, there is a reason why the SEO market is worth more than $ 80 billion.

Even when I’m publishing content on my blog or updating my website, my aim is to improve my SEO.

So, yes, when you are writing content and publishing it, you’re mostly doing it for your search engine rankings.

But if your sole purposes to somehow show up on the SERPs, you will get yourself trapped in a self-defeating loop.

Just as you cannot be famous just for the sake of being famous (unless you are Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian) and you can’t make money just for the sake of making money, you cannot have good search engine rankings for the sake of search engine rankings.

You need to offer something valuable.

Your rankings are the currency and the recognition that you get for providing value, for providing something people are looking for.

This is where quality content writing helps you.

Money is a byproduct of the value or the service you deliver.

Your search engine rankings are the byproduct of the value you deliver through your content.

Search engines like Google want to make sure that the users can find the best possible content for the searches they are carrying on.

Hence, if someone searches for “what is the relationship between quality content writing, bounce rate and SEO”, she finds my link only when Google can make out that I’m actually describing the relationship and not simply stuffing the keywords.

Initially, Google simply crawls, indexes and then uses its own AI and logic to rank my content.

After that, it begins to use human intelligence – it observes how people react to your content once they find it on Google.

Hence, the following topic…

Bounce rate

Bounce rate has different meanings in different contexts, but in terms of SEO, it means how much time a user spends on your particular piece of content after arriving from Google.

For example, if you come to this blog post from Google and leave within a few seconds and go back to Google, this blog post has a higher bounce rate.

It doesn’t offer you what you’re looking for.

Google assumes that this link doesn’t contain valuable information for the search term for which it is showing up on the SERPs.

For every such bounce, Google reduces my rankings for this link.

The converse is also true.

When you come to this blog post from Google and read a big portion of the blog post and even check out other parts of my website, Google assumes that this blog post in particular and my website in general, contain valuable, useful information.

Consequently, Google improves my SEO for this link for the search term that was used.

Hence, to reduce my bounce rate, it is very important that I provide quality content writing for this blog post.

This brings us to…


Search engine optimization.

It is the dream of every person who has a business on the web to get his or her website featured on the first page of Google, preferably among the top three search results.

People are literally ready to sell their souls for this coveted position.

This is what different SEO experts say you need to improve your search engine rankings organically, naturally and legitimately:

  • High-quality content containing your keywords.
  • Efficient use of meta tags.
  • The number of quality back links (people linking to your website or particular URLs).
  • The quality of interaction people have with your link once they find it through your existing search engine rankings.
  • Social sharing your link enjoys.
  • The age of your domain (the older, the better).
  • The frequency with which you publish fresh content on your website.

Now, except for the age of your domain name, every other aspect that Google uses to improve your SEO is attached or related to quality content writing.

The Google guidelines say that you should regularly publish high-quality content.

Your content must take care of your keywords while it delivers value and engages the readers.

Unless there is something worth linking to, why would people link to your website for individual blog posts and web pages?

Unless there is worth sharing, why would people share your content on their social media timelines?

Hence, Google has connected everything with quality content.

I have explained this whole concept in the above video.

Following SEO Guidelines Still Matters For Quality Content Writing

Follow SEO guidelines along with quality content writing

Follow SEO guidelines along with quality content writing.

Do you often wonder why your blog or website doesn’t rank well despite continuously publishing quality content? Why doesn’t quality content writing improve your SEO the way it should?

Just now I came across this wonderful and comprehensive post on Content Marketing Institute about why it is important that you follow SEO guidelines and don’t assume that just because you are publishing great content, Google is going to rank you well.

The post explains, with examples, some websites having high quality content but not ranking well for the target keywords and some websites with low quality content ranking well.

Why does this happen?

Following SEO guidelines while writing quality content makes a big difference

You may also like to read 10 fundamental qualities of effective SEO content writing.

I have often written on my blog that you should never compromise with quality because ultimately, it’s your quality that sustains and improves your SEO.

But, how do you get your content indexed and ranked in the first place and why is it necessary to get indexed and ranked in the first place?

I will share my personal experience and I have made this observation with multiple websites, blogs, web pages and blog posts.

In the beginning when you publish a blog post or a web page Google crawls it, indexes it and then ranks it according to its analysis.

For this, it uses SEO guidelines. I will come to these SEO guidelines later.

Then, when your content has begun to appear on search results, with the help of its users, Google begins to evaluate your quality and thereupon, it’s your quality that decides whether you’re going to maintain your search engine rankings, improve them, or lose them.

Why following search engine guidelines is important while writing?

The above Content Marketing Institute blog post gives examples of websites that rank well despite having low quality content.

Just an extra remark: the “low quality” websites used in the above example don’t necessarily have irrelevant or misleading content; it is just that, the quality of the written content is lower compared to high quality content on their websites that are not ranking well.

These websites make strategic use of their keywords in the title, the headline and the subheading.

Your keyword must be in the HTML title tag.

Then, your keyword must be there in the headline.

Then your keyword and its various combinations must be there in the subheadings.

Then, of course, there must be a careful sprinkling of your keyword and LSI alternatives throughout your text.

This is the standard SEO guideline that I follow.

Google has published its own search engine optimization guidelines, something straight from the horse’s mouth.

I follow these SEO guidelines along with ensuring that I write quality content.

Following these guidelines in the beginning helps your content get crawled, indexed and ranked for the first time.

Despite what Google says about only quality mattering, in the beginning, I have observed, it does not.

Quality begins to matter afterwards when your content is already indexed and the search engine users have begun to interact with it.

Why following the SEO guidelines matters in the beginning?

Google needs to make sense of your content before it can index and rank it.

Kindly note that this is not a hard and fast rule because sometimes websites and blogs randomly get ranked even without mentioning the search query being used even once.

Anyway, in the beginning, the keyword in your title (the keyword can be a phrase or a search term targeting an audience) appears as a hyperlink in the Google listings.

It has been observed that if the search term that the search engine user has just used appears as a hyperlink in the search results, there is a greater probability of her clicking the link.

This shows how important the text appearing within your title tag is – Google uses it as a hyperlink.

In fact, every search engine, and even social media websites, use the text in your title tag as a hyperlink.

Then, Google evaluates your headline to see what it contains to make further sense of your content.

Then, it begins to analyze your whole content and then uses its algorithm to index it and rank it.

This is one part of the story.

How quality content writing impacts your SEO

Once your content begins to appear in search results, people begin to react to it.

Suppose, someone searches for “content writing service to improve my SEO” and comes to my website.

She finds lots of useful information and consequently, she spends some time on my website exploring it further.

Since it’s only the quality and relevance that can keep her on the website, quality content writing plays a very important role here.

If she comes back to Google after a few minutes and carries on with the same search, Google assumes that although my website contains some useful information on the search she just carried out, she needs more information.

It may or may not improve my rankings for “content writing service to improve my SEO”.

Instead, after visiting my website for the first time if she comes back within a couple of seconds or a few seconds, it sends signals to Google that my website does not contain relevant content for the search term she just used.

Google takes it as an indication that my website shouldn’t be ranking at this particular spot for the search term just used, and hence, lowers my rankings for at least this keyword.

Quality content doesn’t mean you ignore SEO guidelines, and vice versa

Google is an algorithm, after all.

It often comes to light that Google uses human evaluators in many cases, mostly, but when it comes to processing millions of web pages every hour, it is the algorithm that analyzes your content and ranks it.

After that, how humans react to your content begins to either pay off or take its toll.

Hence, when writing content, you need to pay close attention to both its quality as well as SEO guidelines so that it becomes easier for search engine crawlers and ranking algorithms to make sense of your content for the first time, and each time your content is crawled, indexed and ranked.

How to strike a balance between SEO guidelines and quality content writing

It isn’t very difficult, actually.

Publish as much topical content as you can.

What is topical content?

Topical content is content that talks about a topic: for example, my this blog post talks about why it is important to not to neglect SEO guidelines even when you are writing quality content.

To my utmost knowledge and effort, I’m paying very close attention to the quality of my writing.

I have used the keywords “SEO guidelines” and “quality content writing” at all the necessary places including the title tag, the headline and all over the body text.

I follow this template for my own blog posts, my own web pages and also, when I’m writing for my clients.

Most of the clients, when they decide to hire my content writing services, don’t know how my process flows to accommodate both the search engine whims and the expectations of human visitors.

They just give me the topic. Or just a random list of keywords.

Then, I make sure that when I’m writing quality content, I also organize the content keeping the search engine guidelines in mind


The importance of quality content during the Coronavirus outbreak

importance of quality content during the coronavirus outbreak

importance of quality content during the coronavirus outbreak

Quality content has always been about being informative and helpful.

Whether you are writing content for your website or blog, or you are publishing videos and images, your content must be relevant and purposeful.

Quality content is supposed to solve problems, and what could be the greater problem of our times than the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Coronavirus outbreak is turning out to be one of the greatest human and economic tragedies of our times.

Millions are falling victim to it. Thousands are dying on daily basis.

By early April 2020, 16 million people are known to have lost their jobs just in the US.

The overall economic growth worldwide is projected to be -3%.

Two major fears during the Coronavirus outbreak are:

  1. How safe me and my family are and what can I do to keep my loved ones safe?
  2. How do I take care of my livelihood, my business or my employment?

Businesses are reorienting themselves with great speed. Old privileges of being lost. New opportunities are being found.

Outbreaks like the Coronavirus aren’t new to the world.

In one way or another, our world has constantly been besieged by different catastrophes.

The world has seen great wars, colonialism and imperialism, large-scale slavery, atomic explosions, epidemics and famines, environmental disasters, and crusades and jihads.

As a global civilization, we have survived. As individuals, some do, some don’t.

The better informed, the better educated, are in a better situation to cope with a calamitous situation compared to those who are too smug or too busy panicking and complaining about the state of affairs.

Nothing informs and educates better than content, especially in the times of the Internet.

As a business, how can you inform and educate your customers and clients?
If you have an online presence, if you have some degree of traffic on your website or blog, you already have a platform.

Don’t worry about how many people come to your website. Even if you can help a couple of people by publishing informative web pages and blog posts, you will be making a positive impact.

What about a newsletter?

Everyone can use timely information.

In normal days, you use a newsletter to promote your products or services or to engage your subscribers on an ongoing basis.

You can achieve the same even during the Coronavirus outbreak. People already know what business you are in, so you don’t need to mention that.

Whenever you come across something useful, something you feel that your subscribers can benefit from, you can publish it in your newsletter.

New trends are emerging. New patterns are being found. Curves are being flattened.

Thousands of scientists are toiling in their labs to discover the vaccine. There are stories of human triumph all around.

You can publish such information on your website along with how it is going to impact your audience.

Keep publishing helpful content on your website, blog and newsletter.
Remain in touch with people, irrespective of whether they intend to do business with you. Just as you help someone, someone will help you. This is how one civilization after another has survived.