When you run an offline drugstore, chances are you will occasionally receive quality assessors from the relevant efficiency control departments. The main function of these assessors is to ensure that your business is not only in operation in accordance with the laid-down legal and legislative procedures but that it seems to meet the goals for which it was started.
The same happens with websites and the main “quality assessor” in this case is Google. Google, just like any system is governed by a set of laws and has a section [Section 71] that offers guidelines on how to identify a low-quality page. Let us break it down for you so that you can know whether your website is high-quality or if you are facing an imminent sanction from Google.
Ads & Affiliate Links
To begin with, if your website disguises ads as the main content on the website, then the website is a perfect example of a low-quality website according to Google standards. Just in case you don’t know what that means, check to see how many links are interwoven into your main content or if there are any time-delay splash ad screens.
The general assumption by Google is that you are unduly trying to promote these other sites with a view of gaining some advantage out of it. An example of this is a blog content that is full of ads for another news article. Clearly, the main aim is not to pass the message on the blog itself but rather to redirect readers to another article in which the blog owner may have a vested interest.
Over-Monetization of Content
What is over-monetization of content? This simply refers to a situation where your content is aimed at deceiving the users or search engines. In other words, the content defies its primary purpose of information and is instead seen as too flowery in language so users can take certain actions that benefit the website owner financially.
Let’s assume you own a website that deals with the sale of second-hand clothing items. Ideally, users will be more interested in learning more about your items and why they are better than those sold by a similar online store. But instead of describing the greatness in terms of quality, your content seems more focused on the price factor with various calls to act solely based on that. This is a classic case of over-monetization and you could face penalties sooner than you can imagine.
Low-Quality Information for Financial Pages
Google takes exceptional measures when it comes to ranking content that appears to offer advice or guidance that touches on the user’s finances or other financial aspects such as product purchases from the site and product or service insurance. Google is alive to the fact that many online visitors are looking for something that can benefit them financially, one way or the other.
And because many website owners understand this, there is a tendency for these websites to try to lure users by offering low-value financial information that normally leads the user to make the wrong financial decision. It is for this reason that any information touching on the user’s finances, especially with regards to purchases from your site needs to be of very high quality and accurate.
It is common knowledge that if your website deals with the direct supply of commodities, there should be clear terms and conditions of purchase, delivery, warranty and return policy. And at the very least, the information should be backed by common practice, practical examples and above all: authority sources else your website will be deemed low quality.
Careless Keyword Optimization and Spam Content
This is a crime almost all businesses are guilty of. Because of the high competition out there, website owners tend to use the wrong keywords [or the right keywords wrongly] in a bid to have their page appear on Google’s top search results. It is not unusual to find a website touching on, say plumbing services, having spammed certain words such as “plumber”, “plumbing, etc in a bid to increase its SEO rankings.
Though it may appear as a smart move, it actually isn’t because spamming is one of the offenses that attract very stern penalties from Google. If you are not sure how you can manipulate your keywords for the better while still keeping in line with Google’s requirements for a high-quality website, you can always make use of the various online free SEO tools to make positive adjustments.
Broadness of Content
Now, assume you have a website that is designed to inform people about the effects of breast cancer. You definitely want to arouse the interest of your readers so they can read further into your content. However, not many website owners are professional content writers and this is most noticeable in their introductions. For a website page that was designed to be a 500—word page on breast cancer, there is simply no room for fluff and far-fetched facts. All you need is a lean introduction and then a meaty body before ending in a very lean conclusion.
If for instance, you waste the first 200 words describing the anatomy of the breast and only dedicate a few words to the essence of the content, Google will consider the content of your website as too broad in nature and will not hesitate to flag the website as low-quality. Good news though; there are very many content writing services you can hire to ensure your content is above par and is specific to the topic on your web page.
Another reason your website could be flagged is if it is laced with negative feedback from past users. There are various verified online business review platforms and should your website feature among those with the poorest client feedback, it could face Google penalties.
Always aim for better reviews by offering high-quality services. One way to encourage positive feedback is to remind your visitors to leave the reviews when they sign out. This way, you will ensure positive reviews from those visitors who would not have posted any feedback despite the fact that they liked your services.
There are very many reasons why Google could rank your site as low quality so always ensure you check these guidelines to ensure your site is in conformity. Above all, ensure the layout is good and consistent throughout your web pages and that you offer products or services that are real and useful for your clients so you can have positive feedback all through.