Enough with this quality BS already!!!

64 replies
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Let's face it, Google can't judge quality content any more than my dog can piss in a toilet bowl.

Why?

Because Google is an ALGORITHM. You can have a 400 word herpes article advising people to dip their genitals in baking soda and it may still be considered "quality" content by Google.

But what IS quality? What tickles the little penguin?

Is it 2 relevant pictures per 300 words?
Is it a combination of bullet-points and fancy formatting?
Correct grammar and sentence structure?
Is it a super low to non existent keyword density?
Is it some combination of these or other factors?

Or do you not know and just advise people to create it because it makes you look like you know what you're talking about without actually knowing what you're talking about? (ADMIT IT DAMMIT!)

I'm asking because that seems to be the golden answer for everything on this forum:

Newbie: "Dam my sites just got wiped out, help..."

Warrior1: "It's because you're focusing on ranking and not quality content"
Warrior2: "If only you guys would just listen to me, iv'e been telling everyone forever now to just create quality content."
Warrior 3,4,5: "What everyone else just said"

It would be interesting to see what METRICS you guys are using to judge "quality" content and if these have any correlation to the recent update. I mean lets face it, my version of quality and your quality are likely to be two totally different animals.

p.s. although mines tend to resemble more of a red headed step child
#quality
  • Profile picture of the author Baadier Sydow
    I judge quality content as human readable and human shareable (herpes pun intended). If users with a genuine interest in the subject are not willing to share it then its most likely not quality content.
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    • Profile picture of the author dennis09
      Originally Posted by Baadier Sydow View Post

      I judge quality content as human readable and human shareable (herpes pun intended). If users with a genuine interest in the subject are not willing to share it then its most likely not quality content.
      See that's the thing. We all get the HUMAN part of the quality equation, but what does Google look for? The algorithm can't understand whether or not your content is "human shareable" or readable for that matter. Has anyone actually been able to IDENTIFY any METRICS that hint at quality content??? This is something I never see discussed around here.

      Besides, there are plenty of "quality" and very authoritative sites that have been taken out by not only the EMD update, but by the other furry animals as well.
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      • This is because most of the people don't know. It is good you are talking here about statistics and data - most don't and keep pushing their BS assumptions.

        Most of the IMers are not from CS background and it is really difficult to understand IF-THEN-ELSE logic for them.

        Most of the BIG success stories are coming from truckers and homeless!!

        Originally Posted by dennis09 View Post

        Has anyone actually been able to IDENTIFY any METRICS that hint at quality content??? This is something I never see discussed around here.
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      • Profile picture of the author blueorca17
        Originally Posted by dennis09 View Post

        See that's the thing. We all get the HUMAN part of the quality equation, but what does Google look for? The algorithm can't understand whether or not your content is "human shareable" or readable for that matter. Has anyone actually been able to IDENTIFY any METRICS that hint at quality content??? This is something I never see discussed around here.

        Besides, there are plenty of "quality" and very authoritative sites that have been taken out by not only the EMD update, but by the other furry animals as well.
        SOOOOO true. Thanks for posting this. Every site on the internet is subjective. There is not such thing as "quality". There is only such a thing is "popularity". Google ranks things because a lot of sites point to it that it considers "worthy". Not because of the content that is on it.

        You might think you have an awesome site about pandas, but what if the person visiting this site likes pandas, but only the white and black kind? So you have a picture of a red panda on your site, and i hate red pandas! I could technically consider your site to have crappy content because I'm not in the mood to see red pandas....

        What if you have magazine-style articles written by the worlds best journalists, but the COLOR of your site is PUKE GREEN and from a psychological standpoint everyone that visits never wants to go there again because they are reminded of baby excrement every time they visit? LOL Seriously.

        You get the concept, right?

        So the only way Google's algo can weed out the humanistic "emotional" and "subjective" element of search with its visitors is the rank a site based on a social structure. If more sites that are trusted point to your domain, then you're more likely to rank. Period. They key is simply to find the list of sites that are more trusted and get links from them....

        Note: This doesn't necessarily mean getting blog comments from high PR pages or high PR domains either.... there's a little more to it than that.
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        • Profile picture of the author dburk
          Originally Posted by blueorca17 View Post

          SOOOOO true. Thanks for posting this. Every site on the internet is subjective. There is not such thing as "quality". There is only such a thing is "popularity". Google ranks things because a lot of sites point to it that it considers "worthy". Not because of the content that is on it.

          You might think you have an awesome site about pandas, but what if the person visiting this site likes pandas, but only the white and black kind? So you have a picture of a red panda on your site, and i hate red pandas! I could technically consider your site to have crappy content because I'm not in the mood to see red pandas....

          What if you have magazine-style articles written by the worlds best journalists, but the COLOR of your site is PUKE GREEN and from a psychological standpoint everyone that visits never wants to go there again because they are reminded of baby excrement every time they visit? LOL Seriously.

          You get the concept, right?

          So the only way Google's algo can weed out the humanistic "emotional" and "subjective" element of search with its visitors is the rank a site based on a social structure. If more sites that are trusted point to your domain, then you're more likely to rank. Period. They key is simply to find the list of sites that are more trusted and get links from them....

          Note: This doesn't necessarily mean getting blog comments from high PR pages or high PR domains either.... there's a little more to it than that.
          Hi blueorca17,

          Let me say that you are wrong, not in your opinion of what you posted, but in your notion that attributes that apply to "appeal", or "relevance", is what Google considers issues of "quality". You bring up issues of "appeal", which is very subjective, not "quality", which can be standardized and measured. If you can measure it, you can rate it, and Google does in fact measure and rate it. Read up on the Panda update.

          I wonder why folks just keep clinging to such a broad definition of "quality", that it has no relevance to the context of quality in Google's algorithm. What purpose does that serve, you can bury your head in the sand, but Panda's gonna getcha if you don't wise up.
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  • Originally Posted by dennis09 View Post

    Let's face it, Google can't judge quality content any more than my dog can piss in a toilet bowl.

    Why?

    Because Google is an ALGORITHM. You can have a 400 word herpes article advising people to dip their genitals in baking soda and it may still be considered "quality" content by Google.

    But what IS quality? What tickles the little penguin?

    Is it 2 relevant pictures per 300 words?
    Is it a combination of bullet-points and fancy formatting?
    Correct grammar and sentence structure?
    Is it a super low to non existent keyword density?
    Is it some combination of these or other factors?

    Or do you not know and just advise people to create it because it makes you look like you know what you're talking about without actually knowing what you're talking about? (ADMIT IT DAMMIT!)

    I'm asking because that seems to be the golden answer for everything on this forum:

    Newbie: "Dam my sites just got wiped out, help..."

    Warrior1: "It's because you're focusing on ranking and not quality content"
    Warrior2: "If only you guys would just listen to me, iv'e been telling everyone forever now to just create quality content."
    Warrior 3,4,5: "What everyone else just said"

    It would be interesting to see what METRICS you guys are using to judge "quality" content and if these have any correlation to the recent update. I mean lets face it, my version of quality and your quality are likely to be two totally different animals.

    p.s. although mines tend to resemble more of a red headed step child
    Thank you sir for making my night
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan Curtis
      Here is how Google tests for "quality":

      When they find new web pages they include the pages in their search results in order to measure the response. This is basically a test that Google runs to evaluate new pages.

      If there is not a good response to the listing in the search results (few people click on the listing) then they lower the site in their rankings.

      Then they determine the response of those who do actually click on the listing. If there are too many searchers that quickly click back and search for another page, then Google assumes that the page is not a quality page, at least in the eyes of the searchers and for whatever reason, and again they lower the site in their rankings.

      So, if the listing does not generate clicks, and if searchers return too quickly after finding a page, then in Google's eyes the page does not have quality content. Whether you or I would agree with that assessment is another matter, but as far as search results go, what you and I think is moot.
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      • Profile picture of the author dennis09
        Originally Posted by Dan Curtis View Post

        Here is how Google tests for "quality":

        When they find new web pages they include the pages in their search results in order to measure the response. This is basically a test that Google runs to evaluate new pages.

        If there is not a good response to the listing in the search results (few people click on the listing) then they lower the site in their rankings.

        Then they determine the response of those who do actually click on the listing. If there are too many searchers that quickly click back and search for another page, then Google assumes that the page is not a quality page, at least in the eyes of the searchers and for whatever reason, and again they lower the site in their rankings.

        So, if the listing does not generate clicks, and if searchers return too quickly after finding a page, then in Google's eyes the page does not have quality content. Whether you or I would agree with that assessment is another matter, but as far as search results go, what you and I think is moot.
        So basically measuring quality performance based on click through and bounce rates?
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  • Profile picture of the author radivoj
    Of course robot will never read content exactly as human, but as you know Google use 200 signals to determine where they will rank site, in order to survive all those algorithm changes that Google overtime making harder and harder for as to do well in the serps strong social signal's is Now more important then ever...
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    Originally Posted by dennis09 View Post

    Let's face it, Google can't judge quality content any more than my dog can piss in a toilet bowl.

    Ok...
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    Hi
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  • Profile picture of the author Yaduvanshi
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    • Profile picture of the author dennis09
      Originally Posted by Bestseller91 View Post

      What world are you from dennis?
      I'm coming from the world of numbers, statistics, data. You know, the same stuff Google uses to rank your site... If it isn't obvious by now I prefer a more scientific approach versus theory.

      Originally Posted by Bestseller91 View Post

      First of all i don't understand the motive of your post? Or do you have any ?
      Why of course I do, and it sure isn't to promote my signature. In case it isn't clear, it is to dig up information of the METRICS that Google is using to determine quality. Simple as that. I ask because so many people scream about the necessity of it and yet ironically few people even know what it means.

      In case you still don't understand let me put it another way. Google is a machine and you need to push the right buttons. What buttons are you pushing?

      Originally Posted by Bestseller91 View Post

      Ofcourse an article telling you to dip you genitals in baking soda or a glass or rum can be quality content and i bet it will be more quality than most .Write one article about it and see how many people are talking about it. Thats what quality content is. One that keeps people interested and one that make go "ohhh look i found this, its hilarious".
      Sounds good and all until you have poor Joe the SEO running around having sex with people because he thought he found the cure for herpes from a quality website about STD's.

      Originally Posted by Bestseller91 View Post

      All those people who talk about getting quality content are absolutely correct. It seems you fail to understand why. Ofcourse google doesn't know if a content is quality but people who read it do .
      So , if a piece of content is compelling enough that makes people talk about it, publish it on their blogs , discuss it on social networks , then that kind of quality content gets you seo value and backlinks which google does know.
      And it seems you fail to understand that some of us seek to mimic this behavior which is why we engage in backlinking in the first place. Then again i don't know, maybe some people just enjoy building backlinks?? :confused:

      Originally Posted by Bestseller91 View Post

      Anyways, i am still unsure if you wanted to read this but i doubt if many people will understand what they should post here in reply to you.
      Some won't, but i'm sure some will. And THOSE are the people that i'm talking to.
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      • Profile picture of the author jodiesmitham
        Originally Posted by dennis09 View Post

        Sounds good and all until you have poor Joe the SEO running around having sex with people because he thought he found the cure for herpes from a quality website about STD's.
        One of the funniest things I've read on here!

        Dennis09, I totally agree with you. People bandy the term "quality content" around so much without considering how an algorithm would define "quality". Let's hope Joe finds out soon that baking soda isn't going to do very much for him.
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  • Profile picture of the author boxoun
    I stay away from this subject because its subjective and I've admit many times that my content is not the best based on whether or not I personally would stay on site.
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  • Profile picture of the author howto
    Quality content is only a part of SEO. If you make good content people will share it and give you backlinks. The issue is that you still need to get people on the website in the first place and you need to be a damn good content maker to get people to share. Quality content is merely a piece of the puzzle.


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  • Profile picture of the author codecreative
    I think Dennis raises an excellent point and for one look forward to some further responses in the same way Dan Curtis has posted. I always considered this to be a factor, the amount of clicks you get from the serps.

    If you notice the serps don't link directly to your site it seems to go through some kind of tracking system first.
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  • Profile picture of the author treezie
    Originally Posted by dennis09 View Post

    Let's face it, Google can't judge quality content any more than my dog can piss in a toilet bowl.

    Why?

    Because Google is an ALGORITHM. You can have a 400 word herpes article advising people to dip their genitals in baking soda and it may still be considered "quality" content by Google.

    But what IS quality? What tickles the little penguin?

    Is it 2 relevant pictures per 300 words?
    Is it a combination of bullet-points and fancy formatting?
    Correct grammar and sentence structure?
    Is it a super low to non existent keyword density?
    Is it some combination of these or other factors?

    Or do you not know and just advise people to create it because it makes you look like you know what you're talking about without actually knowing what you're talking about? (ADMIT IT DAMMIT!)

    I'm asking because that seems to be the golden answer for everything on this forum:

    Newbie: "Dam my sites just got wiped out, help..."

    Warrior1: "It's because you're focusing on ranking and not quality content"
    Warrior2: "If only you guys would just listen to me, iv'e been telling everyone forever now to just create quality content."
    Warrior 3,4,5: "What everyone else just said"

    It would be interesting to see what METRICS you guys are using to judge "quality" content and if these have any correlation to the recent update. I mean lets face it, my version of quality and your quality are likely to be two totally different animals.

    p.s. although mines tend to resemble more of a red headed step child
    Dwell time. Does the user stay on the page to read the whole thing or do they go back to the serps and look further down. That's why bounce rate only tells you half of the story...people can bounce from your site because what you have on your site already answered your question. But do they go back and look further down the serps?
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  • Profile picture of the author Lucid
    Originally Posted by dennis09 View Post

    See that's the thing. We all get the HUMAN part of the quality equation, but what does Google look for? The algorithm can't understand whether or not your content is "human shareable" or readable for that matter.
    Well actually, yes, it can. The readable part is handled by the same kind of algorithm that's been part of most word processors for the last ten years. The shareable part has always been a part of their algorith. It's called backlinks.

    As mentioned by Radivoj, there are 200 factors (more or less, only Google knows exactly how many and what those factors are) that help determine ranking of a page. They are likely each categorized and one of those categories called quality. It may be one of four or five major categories and each has a different weight. The Quality category may have for example a weight of 25% of the total. It may contain 40 factors, each with their own weight within that category.

    Originally Posted by Dan Curtis View Post

    Here is how Google tests for "quality":
    I think you got the first part right. I just don't believe they measure time on site.


    Originally Posted by dennis09 View Post

    I prefer a more scientific approach versus theory.
    Good. Then, if you were building a search engine, how would you do it? What factors and what weights would you give each? I've actually done this exercise and I've tried to get the community here to give their input but nobody seems interested.

    I've said it before. The definition of quality that Google uses is not what most people think it means. Dan seems to have the idea, at least part of it. If a page gets ranked highly for "how to cure herpes" and it recommends dipping your weenie into Pepsi or baking soda, it means it did many things right to rank highly. It doesn't mean that it is correct. You and I are intelligent and know that can't be true. So you say it's not quality content. Fair enough but that's not Google's definition. The algorithm is not as intelligent and doesn't know that's not true. It doesn't even have a penis so how would it know. Someone just pushed the right buttons as you said. Unfortunately, this may get some people in trouble and trying this so-called cure. But really, do you really see this sort of thing in the results? No because Google has checks and balances against that sort of thing. Somewhere in their database is "herpes cure with Pepsi = bad".
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  • Profile picture of the author RayW
    The main indicator of quality to Google is the same as it has been for a decade: BACKLINKS, not how many words, not grammar/spelling/punctuation, not keyword density, not LSI keywords, not bounce rate, or whatever else some idiot on this forum told you. An article could be written poorly and contain bad information but if a lot of authority sites are linking to it, Google will view that as quality content and rank it higher. Backlinks are the most important ranking factor and they always have been and always will because quality is SUBJECTIVE, which means Google can't determine what's quality content for its users. USERS determine what's quality content for users (through backlinks).
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    • Profile picture of the author Becker13
      Banned
      Originally Posted by RayW View Post

      The main indicator of quality to Google is the same as it has been for a decade: BACKLINKS, not how many words, not grammar/spelling/punctuation, not keyword density, not LSI keywords, not bounce rate, or whatever else some idiot on this forum told you. An article could be written poorly and contain bad information but if a lot of authority sites are linking to it, Google will view that as quality content and rank it higher. Backlinks are the most important ranking factor and they always have been and always will because quality is SUBJECTIVE, which means Google can't determine what's quality content for its users. USERS determine what's quality content for users (through backlinks).
      CORRECTO MUNDOOOOOO
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      • Profile picture of the author dburk
        Hi dennis09,

        I must disagree with your assertion that Google cannot judge quality issues because they are an algorithm. That's just nonsense, computers have been used to judge quality on many many things for many years. If it can be measured, it can held to a quality standard and algorithms are the preferred method used by computers.

        In If fact, I think it fair to say that Google has always attempted to measure web pages for issues of quality in various ways over the years. Their methods have improved and become more sophisticated over the years.

        Dan Curtis' reply pointed out the old way that Google has done it from the start, by using behavior metrics that can be measured they have allowed user behavior to be used as a primary metric for quality. And as RayW, Google has always used backlinks as an indicator of usefulness, however, that technically isn't a quality metric, at least as most speak of it in this context. Google measures utility separately from quality.

        Lucid hit the nail on the head with his reply about content quality. That was introduced with the Panda update, and there are a few more algorithmically measured quality standards to go with the ones mentioned by Lucid.

        Lucid's reply points directly to the evidence that your assertion is completely wrong. Read up on what Google has published about their Panda update, to get an idea of just how wrong you are. While Google is holding close to the vest the precise metrics used, they do give a clear indication of the general type of metrics that are used for the Panda Update.

        The Penguin update that you attempt to link to quality content, wasn't about quality, as much as it was about web spam. The Penguin Update was designed to algorithmically detect and devalue web spam. No doubt that they use the Quality Score system introduced by Panda as part of, or in conjunction with the Penguin, but Penguin was all about detecting and devaluing web spam.

        I think people often confuse the word "quality" to mean something it doesn't. Often they confuse that word, "quality", with the word "value", or "usefulness". Quality means free from defect, many defects can be detected and measured via computer algorithms. Learn the definition of the word before attempting to use it in conversation, it makes you look smarter when you do.
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        • Profile picture of the author Complex
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          • Profile picture of the author dburk
            Originally Posted by Complex View Post

            Before you get all condescending, look up the word quality in a dictionary.

            Seriously.

            Apparently you don't know words can have multiple meanings and contextual usages. Not to mention, a word like quality is both a noun and an adjective. Quality in the context of writing has always been a subjective word. Ask an English teacher what "quality" is. Guarantee they know a little more than you do on the subject.

            Art, which is what writing can be considered in some forms, is subjective. Therefore writing in that context would also be measured subjectively.

            Quality as a description of content is an adjective. Adjectives are subjective. I think my son learned that in second or third grade

            You might think that a particular town is beautiful (adjective) to you, whereas I wouldn't find that same town appealing and vice versa.

            Not only that, but quality journalism is a term that has had an industry meaning for a long time and one of those checkmarks that you look for when it comes to quality journalism is... factual accuracy which a computer algorithm will not measure.

            Even Matt Cutts himself has said that before.

            I would have let this one go, had you not gotten all high and mighty and shown that you knew a lot less about the English language than you think you do.
            Hi Complex,

            LOL, I'm pretty sure that Google doesn't try to measure subjective attributes like "beauty". That would be silly. I think you may have confused the word "appeal", with the word "quality", in the context that applies to this discussion.

            You can choose any definition that you want, but the only definition that matters, in this context, is Google's definition.

            Here is the definition of "quality" from BusinessDictionary.com:

            Definition
            In manufacturing, a measure of excellence or a state of being free from defects, deficiencies, and significant variations, brought about by the strict and consistent adherence to measurable and verifiable standards to achieve uniformity of output that satisfies specific customer or user requirements.


            Read more: What is quality? definition and meaning
            Note the "free from defect" phrase. I do believe that Google defines 'quality' in webpage content as "free from defect". In particular, the defects that they can, and do detect algorithmically.

            It is clear from the data that we can measure that Google's quality metrics include things like misspelled words, errors in grammar, missing or excessive punctuation, capitalization errors, excessive use of passive voice or complex expressions, runon sentences or paragraphs, inadequate margins, etc., all quality deficiencies instantly detectable by computer algorithms.
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    • Profile picture of the author jfambrini
      Originally Posted by RayW View Post

      The main indicator of quality to Google is the same as it has been for a decade: BACKLINKS, not how many words, not grammar/spelling/punctuation, not keyword density, not LSI keywords, not bounce rate, or whatever else some idiot on this forum told you. An article could be written poorly and contain bad information but if a lot of authority sites are linking to it, Google will view that as quality content and rank it higher. Backlinks are the most important ranking factor and they always have been and always will because quality is SUBJECTIVE, which means Google can't determine what's quality content for its users. USERS determine what's quality content for users (through backlinks).
      Agree completely.
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    • Profile picture of the author ampeculiar
      Originally Posted by RayW View Post

      The main indicator of quality to Google is the same as it has been for a decade: BACKLINKS, not how many words, not grammar/spelling/punctuation, not keyword density, not LSI keywords, not bounce rate, or whatever else some idiot on this forum told you. An article could be written poorly and contain bad information but if a lot of authority sites are linking to it, Google will view that as quality content and rank it higher. Backlinks are the most important ranking factor and they always have been and always will because quality is SUBJECTIVE, which means Google can't determine what's quality content for its users. USERS determine what's quality content for users (through backlinks).
      Favourite reply!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author retsek
    Originally Posted by dennis09 View Post

    Let's face it, Google can't judge quality content any more than my dog can piss in a toilet bowl.
    I don't know about that
    If that dog can, yours can too

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  • Profile picture of the author 36burrows
    Thread is over.

    Now sticky it so people stop overusing that stupid word over and over as the end all be all answer to everything.
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  • Profile picture of the author OmarNegron
    The main indicator of quality to Google is the same as it has been for a decade: BACKLINKS, not how many words, not grammar/spelling/punctuation, not keyword density, not LSI keywords, not bounce rate, or whatever else some idiot on this forum told you. An article could be written poorly and contain bad information but if a lot of authority sites are linking to it, Google will view that as quality content and rank it higher. Backlinks are the most important ranking factor and they always have been and always will because quality is SUBJECTIVE, which means Google can't determine what's quality content for its users. USERS determine what's quality content for users (through backlinks).
    Ding ding ding! True True True!
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  • Profile picture of the author bsbear
    Mainly backlinks, because that is how Google judges content, technically. Its almost a popularity system.

    In reality, they can tell what content is stolen/spun, you aren't fooling anyone with shit content.
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  • Profile picture of the author Complex
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Originally Posted by Complex View Post

      Of course, if you are brand new to the SEO game and you want to scoop up clients, posting about quality content/links makes you seem like you know what you are talking about, even when you couldn't give a detailed response to save your life and it totally builds up your forum rep, especially right after a Google update. I bet those that post about quality content and links and just happen to claim that they deliver those same quality contents and links see a HUGE BOOST in sales right after an update.

      They probably go from eating Ramen to spaghetti and from riding their bike to actually putting 5 gallons in the tank. Lol, I'm such a hater

      Or, if you are experienced, and actually know what you are talking about, go from $50,000 a month to $65,000 a month on the average website under management, you go from smoking Montecristo Classic Churchill to Padron Family Reserve No. 45,
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      • Profile picture of the author Complex
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        • Profile picture of the author dburk
          Originally Posted by Complex View Post

          Wow, you are using the lame "I make more money than you" assertion to try and dance around the fact that you were using the word in the wrong context while trying to sound condescending to the OP?

          Man up, admit you were wrong and move on.

          You don't even know my name, much less what I earn financially. I don't smoke, so what kind of cigar you enjoy doesn't impress me. You might be able to impress some people with that noise, but that's all it is - noise.

          Trying to use the word quality in the context of quality controls for a mass produced product versus as an adjective for a description of writing is actually more telling about your experience than any claim that you make on a forum that is never going to be verified by factual evidence.

          Edit: saw your second reply and again, you are using the word quality in the wrong context. I honestly don't know how to explain it to you if you don't get it. Linking to businessdictionary.com doesn't change the fact that you are using the word in the wrong context. Judging "quality' in writing is not the same as judging whether or not the 1000 mass produced umbrellas a company just ran off is free from defect. Like I said before, quality has multiple uses in the English language as well as contextual uses. You are using it in the wrong context, so you are always going to think you are right. You will fail an English test though.
          Hi Complex,

          I gave you very specific, and actionable, examples of quality deficiencies that directly and expressly apply to the context of this discussion. I don't know how to make it any clearer. I just hope others reading this thread can see what should be so obvious to anyone with open eyes, and and receptive mind.

          I do find your appeal for me to "Man up, admit you were wrong and move on.", to be humourous and entertaining. ROTFL

          Though I doubt that Google's official statement on this subject will move you from your stubbornly held position, perhaps it will be enlightening to others:

          What counts as a high-quality site?
          Our site quality algorithms are aimed at helping people find "high-quality" sites by reducing the rankings of low-quality content. The recent "Panda" change tackles the difficult task of algorithmically assessing website quality. Taking a step back, we wanted to explain some of the ideas and research that drive the development of our algorithms.
          Below are some questions that one could use to assess the "quality" of a page or an article. These are the kinds of questions we ask ourselves as we write algorithms that attempt to assess site quality. Think of it as our take at encoding what we think our users want.
          Of course, we aren't disclosing the actual ranking signals used in our algorithms because we don't want folks to game our search results; but if you want to step into Google's mindset, the questions below provide some guidance on how we've been looking at the issue:
          • Would you trust the information presented in this article?
          • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
          • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
          • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
          • Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
          • Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
          • Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
          • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
          • How much quality control is done on content?
          • Does the article describe both sides of a story?
          • Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
          • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don't get as much attention or care?
          • Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
          • For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
          • Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
          • Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
          • Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
          • Is this the sort of page you'd want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
          • Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
          • Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
          • Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
          • Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
          • Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
          Writing an algorithm to assess page or site quality is a much harder task, but we hope the questions above give some insight into how we try to write algorithms that distinguish higher-quality sites from lower-quality sites.
          Source: Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: More guidance on building high-quality sites

          A lot can be learned from this short post by Google.

          Now it's your turn to "man up", then we can both light up and smoke a great cigar
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  • Profile picture of the author JoshuaG
    The algorithm can't understand whether or not your content is "human shareable" or readable for that matter.
    Actually, it can.
    There are many linguistic indicators available that an algorithm can use to judge the quality of an article. It doesn't take rocket science to see many of them. Other more advanced techniques for the discovery of more indicators have probably been developed with the help of language experts.
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    • Profile picture of the author RayW
      Originally Posted by JoshuaG View Post

      Actually, it can.
      There are many linguistic indicators available that an algorithm can use to judge the quality of an article. It doesn't take rocket science to see many of them. Other more advanced techniques for the discovery of more indicators have probably been developed with the help of language experts.
      Bullshit.

      There are no such linguistic signals that indicate quality. Like I said, quality is SUBJECTIVE and the only way for a googlebot to determine it is through quality/quantity/relevance of backlinks.
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      • Profile picture of the author JoshuaG
        Originally Posted by RayW View Post

        Bullshit.

        There are no such linguistic signals that indicate quality. Like I said, quality is SUBJECTIVE and the only way for a googlebot to determine it is through quality/quantity/relevance of backlinks.
        Its certainly not "bullshit" at all.

        The english language follows patterns and rules. It has fundamental structures and if they are not followed the result is unreadable gibberish. If something is unreadable it will be low quality and not displayed.

        This is why SEO techniques like keyword stuffing no longer work. And that's just one example of many.

        Why do you think semantic relevance and "Siloing" are so important to building well SEO'd websites? It's because content that is completely unfocused/irrelevant is deemed LOW QUALITY.

        Why do you think when you put a question into google you often get an answer rather then a site that is nothing but a list of questions that also contains your question? Its because that content would be a LOW QUALITY result to your query.

        I'm sure there are many other more "advanced" patterns that would single a "bad quality" alert.
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  • Profile picture of the author Klondike1985
    dessin
    Thank you very much. This whole thread was inspiration for me, I think I'm going to write it down and publish something of the sort in my blog. Now that will attract quite a lot of traffic if you ask me.
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  • Profile picture of the author burke1024
    I've got a lot of experience with what is and isn't quality content. It turns out that you need 250 bare bone words of grammatically correct sentence structure, with 3-4 instances of your keyword. That will get you a 90/100 on the test. Anything else is just extra credit.
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    • Profile picture of the author burke1024
      Also I don't think anyone has brought this up, but let us not forget that quality content is nothing without proper page optimization.
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  • Profile picture of the author Suir1980
    Good content is at least 80% unique on the The Best Spinner... am I doing it right?


    /sarcasm
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  • Profile picture of the author blend
    The only way Google can improve is to have human reviewers, (which they do)

    All in all there into for them selfs and dont care about us? They are just getting stupid now!!
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  • Profile picture of the author ilee
    The reason I argue for quality content on sites is that:
    1.) it builds trust in visitors so it's easier to sell them things.
    2.) it means you'll pass a manual review by google
    3.) sure, google can't tell really good quality content from good quality but in my opinion can definitely tell grammatically poor content with poor sentence structure. Even your trusty little microsoft word can tell so why wouldn't the big G?

    Ian
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    OP - If you wrote as creatively as you did here on your own blog, then you'd probably be doing okay.

    The real answer lies in the syndication of content. Content creation, publication and syndication. Add in tracking and measuring, and you've got a winner. And of course offer multiple formats of your content (audio, video etc)

    You should be writing content to attract real leads - not writing to satisfy algorithms!

    I could repeat myself a hundred times over, but it wont make any difference. No one seems to listen. I'll log in tomorrow and see another 500 threads with members posting out of sheer desperation asking how to "beat" the latest update.

    Its a lost cause.

    The only real winners here are :

    1. Google.
    2. Google's share holders
    3. Searchers
    4. Smart internet marketers who dont rely soley on Google
    5. Nincompoops pushing crappy WSO's promising false "solutions" within the forum for $7 a copy.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMdeaming
    Thank god somebody brought this up. That word gets thrown around so much on here that its starting to aggravate the crap out of me when someone brings it up. I have 2 authority sites and 7 autoblogs and none of them have any manually created backlinks so ive been relying on content alone to rank and receive traffic. Ironically when panda hit, my two authority sites with "quality" content written by myself took massive hits. But 5 of my autoblogs, with nothing but spun and spammy content continued to rank for many keywords. :confused:

    I did a little digging on the issue of what Google considers quality content and came across this article: Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: More guidance on building high-quality sites

    Here's a few points that I call BS on:

    Does the article describe both sides of a story?
    Would you trust the information presented in this article? (kinda like what you mentioned with the herpes thing)
    Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?

    I mean really...
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    Something stinks...
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Relevance, that's what matters.
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    Hi
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    • Profile picture of the author WraithSarko
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      Relevance, that's what matters.
      choo mean Yukon?

      you talkin bout backlinks and how relevant the reffering page is...or you talking bout something else?
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  • Profile picture of the author .
    Originally Posted by dennis09 View Post

    Let's face it, Google can't judge quality content any more than my dog can piss in a toilet bowl.
    Hey! if u say so..... then you must be right.

    So I wonder how many authority sites u rank for?
    because hey! if google can't judge quality, you must be ranking pretty high...
    is just an algorithm right?
    run my 2 guys in a garage, right?
    is a little php script.... right?
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  • Profile picture of the author Lucid
    Originally Posted by RayW View Post

    The main indicator of quality to Google is the same as it has been for a decade: BACKLINKS
    I don't think backlinks are the most important indicator but are a major one.


    Originally Posted by John Romaine View Post

    You should be writing content to attract real leads - not writing to satisfy algorithms!
    Exactly.

    Originally Posted by Complex View Post

    Quality in the context of writing has always been a subjective word
    True. But Google's use and definition of quality is not only about the writing. For example, in Adwords, a bridge page is considered poor quality. Nothing to do with the words or what they say.

    We could use the word quality for other things and have different ideas of what it meant. I could say a woman has the qualities I like and therefore desirable, to me. Another man may think I mean she's beautiful. But when seeing her, might think why I think she's quality as she may not be anywhere near a 10 in his book. But my definition of a quality woman means an intelligent and independent woman. Nothing to do with physical beauty (although that doesn't hurt).

    As dBurk said, the only definition that matters in this context is Google's.


    Originally Posted by dennis09 View Post

    Has anyone actually been able to IDENTIFY any METRICS that hint at quality content??? This is something I never see discussed around here.
    Probably the wrong forum for this sort of thing. Like I said earlier, I've tried. Also, people have pre-conceived notions about what Google thinks is quality. But you seem to be logical, intelligent and said you prefer a scientific approach. So let's discuss it privately. I'd invite dBurk and Yukon as well if they are interested. I think we'd just replicate what can be seen on rob1123's link (thanks Rob).
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    • Profile picture of the author Complex
      [DELETED]
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      • Profile picture of the author dburk
        Originally Posted by Complex View Post

        If you go back to what I originally quoted dburk on, he was telling the OP that the OP didn't understand English because he didn't know the definition of the word "quality." That was not true. The word quality has multiple meanings and contextual usages. The way that the OP used the word quality in the context of his opening thread was correct usage of the word quality in his own personal context. He framed the context for the way that he was using the word quality. And in that context, he was accurate as he was not talking about writing the same way that you talk about quality when you are referring to mass produced items that have a model that they can be checked against for deficiencies. They are not one and the same. So, to use the word quality in that context, the way that Dburk was using it would be wrong. Some things are right or wrong. Kind of like in English class, on a test, you would get a check if it was right and an x if it was wrong.

        Dburk doesn't get to change that context, because it then changes the entire discussion. Formal debate settings don't work like that. You would get docked points for diverting from the original argument by trying to change the context of the original discussion. I understand that this is not a formal debate setting but when someone acts like a complete jerk to someone and trying to correct them when there was no correction to be made, they need to be called out.

        Your example of Adwords has more to do with site quality than it does to do with quality of content to be honest. Written content is a part of the site, not the entire site. You wouldn't call a cheap car quality because you added high quality brake pads to it. The part does not change the whole. Just like you wouldn't call a Mercedes a cheap car because someone put cheap brake pads on it. Google has never come out with specific standards for what they define as quality writing or even quality video. They have come out with guidelines for sites, though. A site is a collection of content, much like a book is a collection of pages, not a single page.

        When there is no standardization, using the word quality in the context that dBurk was trying to is wrong. Without standardization, there is only subjectivity.

        The OP made perfectly clear what HE was talking about. And that is that when someone gets dinged by Google, everyone says that they must not have had "quality content." What that ends up being is just a way to insult someone, as the person who makes that assumption, has never seen the person's site in the first place.

        Like I said, I wouldn't have even bothered to respond to DBurk, had he not come across like such a jerk while at the same time using the word in the wrong context. Context dictates definition of a word when a word has multiple definitions, which any dictionary will show that the word "quality" does. Dburk thinks there is one definition only. He is wrong.

        By the way, when you say that a woman has "qualities" that you like... you are using it as a noun. When you say that something is high quality... you are using it as an adjective.

        Adjectives and nouns are different.

        Quality when used as a noun becomes a "thing" that the woman has.

        Quality when used as an adjective becomes a description of what you "think" something is.

        Oh, and Terry Kyle is right... conversions matter more anyway, lulz.

        Hi Complex,

        Sorry, but I must say, what a load of crap!

        I define my words, not you. Say what you want and define it any way you choose, but please do not try to re-define my words to fit your misguided narrative.

        I said what I said, and not what you said I said. Let my words speak for themselves.

        I made a point that using a a broad definition of the term quality was both out of context and irrelevant to this topic. In this context the only definition that matters is the definition that fits Google's application of quality testing.

        And speaking to to people that want to twist the definition into some broad and abstract context, your argument is irrelevant and serves no useful purpose in this thread.

        As you pointed out, this is a public forum, and if you post erroneous information, you should expected to be corrected. Don't expect bad information to go unchallenged. That is what makes a public forum great, your theories are vetted by your peers. That's not being a "jerk", that's being helpful, particularly when no personal slurs, nor attempts to re-define someones words were used in responding to the OP.

        The OP, and others on this thread, have attempted to promulgate the theory that since they can choose a broad, out-of-context, definition of the word "quality", that includes subjective attributes that have nothing to do with Google's definition, that it somehow makes it impossible for Google to algorithmically judge content quality. That assertion is both false and misleading. I, along with others, are challenging, what I believe to be a deceptive advice, call me names, if you must, just don't misquote me.

        And let me say publicly that I believe Terry Kyle was wrong in his assertion that quality doesn't matter, It has mattered a great deal, in the context of this discussion, especially since the Panda Update. And while I agree that content that converts is paramount to your business, that statement seemed to be out of context and irrelevant to the topic being discussed, which happens to be about whether or not Google can judge quality with an algorithm.
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        • Profile picture of the author Complex
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          • Profile picture of the author dburk
            Originally Posted by Complex View Post

            Lol, dBurk... you make the definitions for words?

            Who are you, Merriam Webster?

            Honestly, if you don't understand proper contextual usage of a word and how that can change the definition of said word, an English teacher somewhere along the way failed you.

            You can't argue yourself right when it comes to facts. Facts are not flexible like that. That's why they are facts.

            It is a fact that the word quality can be both a noun and an adjective.

            It is a fact that the word quality has more than one definition, and the context of how the word is used dictates what the definition is.

            These are not opinions, these are facts.

            When I say that a diamond has a certain level of quality, that means that it has been compared to the standardized measure for determining that quality. There is a standardized measure that is accepted world wide and can only be deemed a certain quality by someone who has been trained and certified to give out that quality grade.

            That is the way that you are understanding the word quality. You are understanding it only when it is used as a grade or a measure. That is not the only context nor definition for the word quality. We could end this if you would just open up a dictionary.

            There is no standardized measure for determining the quality of someone's writing.

            As I said before, when there is no standardization, there is only subjectivity.

            That is the very reason why standardizations came to be in the first place. Because without them, all you have is subjective opinion.

            Pray tell, where are Google's standards for content?

            Not websites... but content?

            Even for websites they only have guidelines which are similar to, but not equal to standardization.

            Still care to argue yourself right?

            I'm expecting either the "I make more money than you" response or the "I'm right and you are wrong" that seems to be your style.
            Sorry, not buying the strawman.

            I stand by my previous posts. Google does indeed score your content quality with an algorithm. Alternate definitions of "quality" are irrelevant, out of context, and serve no useful purpose in this thread. The only definition that applies in this context is Google's definition.
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      • Profile picture of the author Lucid
        Originally Posted by Complex View Post

        Your example of Adwords has more to do with site quality than it does to do with quality of content to be honest.
        I don't see the difference. I think Google takes the overall view, not just the content. You don't think they consider bridge page as poor quality just because it's SERP and not Adwords?

        Originally Posted by Complex View Post

        Without standardization, there is only subjectivity.
        Agree. And I think Google does too and what dBurk and I are trying to say: there is more to quality than just the written words. Without a doubt Google has standards and measures these in some way. They decided to call all the things they measure "quality" and give it a score. If a page scores better than another, it has better "quality" based on their criteria.

        That is their definition. What Dennis is trying to figure out is what are all the things they measure. In other words, what is their definition of quality. What are the qualities in a web page that they look for?
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  • Profile picture of the author Terry Kyle
    Quality content is irrelevant and subjective of course, as you say - it's CONVERTING content that matters.

    Google does also employ a lot of Human Reviewers now (supposedly) and they DO have strict 'quality' guidelines (the training PDF is available online).
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  • They can't read content, but they do have several checks that the bot can go through to determine whether the content in question is quality.

    And also as stated, from time to time there are Human Reviewers.
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  • Profile picture of the author gearmonkey
    So you think Google isn't taking bounce rate into consideration?

    If you have useful content and people enjoy reading it, would they stick around longer (and check out other pages) if they actually like it?

    What if the content on the website reads: "revenue meaning good great info for to this that are great. To ensure ratings good are great 1 to must be 2 for it are good two".

    Google can see the bounce rate and the time on site. If everyone clicks out quicker than they clicked in, then that can trigger a red flag to google. Also, what legit website with a brand would actually link to spun articles?

    Quality does matter.
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  • Profile picture of the author awj888
    gotta love that starting post, though,
    there is an element of human review which google is implementing. So a page of absolute boll'uks which doesnt make any logical grammer sence wouldnt convince them, but a page with content which is readable, doesnt mean it has to be scientifically accurate
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  • Profile picture of the author Lucid
    Complex, you don't seem to get it. Don't let the use by Google of the word quality fool you. It has nothing to do with the dictionary definition.

    If I decide that the quality of a page is determined by the fact that it has a certain font and size with a polka dot background, then, by MY definition, any page that doesn't have those attributes is of poor quality. This is my standard and can be measured. Just like every other factor Google actually considers can be measured, including writing. Because if it couldn't be measured, what's the point? It would just be subjective and software is not good at that.

    The thing is, you think of content as just the words. Quality in Google's eyes is much more than that.
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  • Profile picture of the author ampeculiar
    Originally Posted by dennis09 View Post

    Let's face it, Google can't judge quality content any more than my dog can piss in a toilet bowl.

    Why?

    Because Google is an ALGORITHM. You can have a 400 word herpes article advising people to dip their genitals in baking soda and it may still be considered "quality" content by Google.

    But what IS quality? What tickles the little penguin?

    Is it 2 relevant pictures per 300 words?
    Is it a combination of bullet-points and fancy formatting?
    Correct grammar and sentence structure?
    Is it a super low to non existent keyword density?
    Is it some combination of these or other factors?

    Or do you not know and just advise people to create it because it makes you look like you know what you're talking about without actually knowing what you're talking about? (ADMIT IT DAMMIT!)

    I'm asking because that seems to be the golden answer for everything on this forum:

    Newbie: "Dam my sites just got wiped out, help..."

    Warrior1: "It's because you're focusing on ranking and not quality content"
    Warrior2: "If only you guys would just listen to me, iv'e been telling everyone forever now to just create quality content."
    Warrior 3,4,5: "What everyone else just said"

    It would be interesting to see what METRICS you guys are using to judge "quality" content and if these have any correlation to the recent update. I mean lets face it, my version of quality and your quality are likely to be two totally different animals.

    p.s. although mines tend to resemble more of a red headed step child

    LMAOOO this got me rolling.....I understand you bro!
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  • Of course google is taking bounce rate into consideration lol Its THEIR search engine. Im sure theres tons of stuff we don't think about that the algo looks for.
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    • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
      Originally Posted by HenrySEO89 View Post

      Of course google is taking bounce rate into consideration lol Its THEIR search engine. Im sure theres tons of stuff we don't think about that the algo looks for.
      So they're monitoring only 'bounces' they know about. So if a webmaster doesn't run Google Analytics, and someone using IE visits his website and they don't have a PageRank bar installed and they DON'T BOUNCE, does the webmaster get credit for being a good boy?
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  • Profile picture of the author Lucid
    They COULD take bounce rate into consideration, IF they had the data. But apart from those sites that install Analytics, how would they know? Does it make sense to use bounce rate? What would Google do if they don't have that information and considers it important?

    Maybe those of us who say that they don't consider bounce rate are wrong. I'm fine with being wrong but I need evidence. You are right about one thing. It's their search engine and can use whatever metric they want (provided it's a quantifiable metric available for every page) and there are lots of other metrics being used few of us even think about.
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  • Profile picture of the author SugarKisses
    If you notice the serps don't link directly to your site it seems to go through some kind of tracking system first.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lucid
      Originally Posted by SugarKisses View Post

      If you notice the serps don't link directly to your site it seems to go through some kind of tracking system first.
      I think you're the first one to even mention this. I knew this of course and I'm sure many others too. There's no question they are tracking something but the real question is, want CAN they track this way? Once you figure that out, you are one step closer in understanding what goes into ranking pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author tech84
    Google is not some English teacher grading your essay on whether it is of quality or just pure batsh*t.

    They most likely judge it from hundreds of signals/factors (shares, likes?, bounce rates, ratio of time on site to number of words, elevation of the sun, moon cycles and blood alcohol content.)
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    • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
      Originally Posted by tech84 View Post

      Google is not some English teacher grading your essay on whether it is of quality or just pure batsh*t.

      They most likely judge it from hundreds of signals/factors (shares, likes?, bounce rates, ratio of time on site to number of words, elevation of the sun, moon cycles and blood alcohol content.)
      This is what folks like OP do not get. Of course Google's algorithm can't determine "quality" from the words themselves. However, it CAN make a determination based on how visitors are interacting with the site. It's really not difficult.
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      • Profile picture of the author dburk
        Originally Posted by tech84 View Post

        Google is not some English teacher grading your essay on whether it is of quality or just pure batsh*t.

        They most likely judge it from hundreds of signals/factors (shares, likes?, bounce rates, ratio of time on site to number of words, elevation of the sun, moon cycles and blood alcohol content.)
        Hi tech84,

        LOL, Ever heard of the Panda Update?

        Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

        This is what folks like OP do not get. Of course Google's algorithm can't determine "quality" from the words themselves. However, it CAN make a determination based on how visitors are interacting with the site. It's really not difficult.
        Hi wolfmmiii,

        Actually, the Panda Update does "determine "quality" from the words themselves". The error many people are making is that they are looking at different signals of "quality" than what Google looks at, which isn't really useful. People seem to get hung up on nebulous concepts of "quality" that are based on highly subjective attributes. While Google remains focused on quality attributes that can be easily measured by a computer algorithm.

        Here's a link that provides some specific details along with general concepts on how Google finds high quality pages:
        Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: More guidance on building high-quality sites
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

        This is what folks like OP do not get. Of course Google's algorithm can't determine "quality" from the words themselves. However, it CAN make a determination based on how visitors are interacting with the site. It's really not difficult.
        Even easier when you have enough people using your browser and people like me that are almost always logged in to Gmail while doing searches
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