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What Is Google Site Quality and How Does Google Rate Your Site?

If you want to rank higher, ensure that your site is "high quality." This article will teach you how to get a high-quality score from Google.
What Is Google Site Quality and How Does Google Rate Your Site

If you are a website owner, you must ensure your site has a good Google Site Quality Score. This score will be based on many factors, including bounce rate, page loading time, and content relevance. 

You should make sure you know all these factors and make the necessary changes to your site accordingly to improve your score.

Your Google Site Quality Score will affect how well your site does in search engine rankings. If you want more visitors to come to your site, then this score will play an essential role in that equation.

Read below for information on what makes up a google quality rating and some tips on how to boost it!

What is Google site quality?

Google site quality is a metric used by Google to measure the experience of visitors on websites. It’s based on metrics like bounce rate, time spent per page, and pages indexed per month. 

The Google Site Quality score will affect how well your site does in search engine rankings.

What Constitutes “Quality” Web Pages to Google?

We all know that Google has some ideas about what’s high quality versus low-quality content, but how does it determine which ones are better? The answers may surprise you:

Google wants unique content.

To make sure that searchers get value from your site, you need to write unique content. Your web pages should provide fresh content and an alternative perspective on the topic- not just different words or phrases on the page with no added meaning.

They like to see external sources linking to a page.

But, these links should be high-quality links with relevant anchor text if at all possible. If visitors click on those links from a page, Google will determine that your content is high-quality and worth ranking for relevant search terms.

results from backlink audit google quality score
Audit your backlinks using tools like SEMRush.

Unnatural links pointing to your site will decrease your page rank.

Backlinks from a low-quality site can do more harm than good.

But, links from higher quality sites can help you gain exposure and increase your ranking.

Low-quality links can reduce your site’s authority, so you should always avoid them.

Google likes when you have high-quality sites linking up your page because they know there’s something unique about it!

The more high-quality pages you have linking to your sources, the better!

It is also important that your website has both internal links and external links. Google often takes into account when they find this type of relationship between two websites on their own accord, so it’s best not just for cyberspace but real life too 😉

They want to show pages that successfully answer the searcher’s query.

If you’re writing content that gives the searcher precisely what they want, then Google will reward you! It would be best if you looked at your website in terms of the question it is answering. 

denham springs painting company search engine optimization

Not only should this answer be relevant to the search term, but it should also provide details and context.

The more successful the page is in answering its question, the higher Google will rank it.

They expect users to have a good experience.

Google wants people to be able to find what they’re looking for! To provide a quality user experience, you should write content that is easy to read and understand. There should also be no spelling errors or grammatical mistakes.

You may also want to read our recent article to learn if spelling and grammar mistakes on your website are costing you business (and SEO rankings).

Poor user experience equals low Google site quality.

The page must load fast on any connection.

When Google is looking at the quality of your site, they want to make sure that everyone can access it. That means that if your site takes too long to load on mobile devices or slower connections, the Google score will take a hit.

use tools like gtmetrix to measure your websites loading speed
Use tools like GTMetrix to test your webpages’ loading speed.

They want to see high-quality accessibility with an intuitive user experience and design on any device.

Your site will perform better in search if it looks good on any device. Make sure you look at your site from different devices and provide a great user experience across the board!

They want your website to be safe and secure, so people don’t fall for scams or get malware.

Google wants to make sure people don’t get scammed or fall for a phishing attempt.

use tools like whynopadlock to troubleshoot insecure content ssl issues
Use tools like whynopadlock.com to find and troubleshoot SSL and secure content issues.

They want users to know that they can trust your website and feel safe going there, so if anything on your site makes you look untrustworthy, Google will lower its ranking.

They want non-text content to have text equivalents.

If your images don’t have alt text, You should provide text equivalents so search engines (and users who rely on screen readers) can read them and rank your site correctly. 

If you want to incorporate video or image galleries, you should look into HTML5 <video> tags which allow automatic captioning on browsers that support it.

They also like to see content that is well-organized and easy to consume and understand.

Google uses its ranking algorithm to find information on your page and rank it.

different types of heading tags in a wordpress sites html

They want users to understand what you’re sharing clearly, so if your content is well organized (with subheadings, bulleted lists, etc.), then Google will like that!

They like to see content that points to additional sources for more information.

Google wants to see you sharing your content and ideas, but they’re also looking for ways that you can provide their users with helpful supplementary content if they’re interested in it! 

google scholar for high quality blog post research
Tools like Google Scholar are great for researching your content.

If there are any relevant scholarly articles or studies that you feel your site visitors might find helpful, linking to these outside sources will raise your Google Site Quality score.

They want to see dynamic content from sites that update frequently.

Having out-of-date information on your website is a bad thing. You should try and keep your website up-to-date with the latest changes in your field! 

Google boosts websites that have regular updates, especially if it’s because they’re adding new content. It shows that your site is still relevant and alive, which Google likes to see!

Google uses these metrics (and hundreds of others) to determine how high or low they should rank you in the SERPs. They look at all of this information for every page of your website, not just one page! So it’s vital that all of your pages are doing well and that they’re all optimized for Google SEO.

Six Factors that Determine Overall Page Quality

Google’s quality rating system is to help us all identify what might be wrong with our website and how we can improve it. It enables web admins to evaluate their websites objectively, makes them more likely to implement changes that Google recommends, and helps them understand how they compare with other sites.

This system is based on the following criteria:

The Page’s Purpose

When you create a page, the first thing that Google does is try to understand your page’s purpose in response. 

This means understanding why people search for information on it and matching words with their intent to present users with accurate answers after accurately identifying the real goal of searchers like yourself!

Different sites have different purposes. So it is crucial to identify the real purpose of the page.

Some common purposes of a webpage:

  • To provide an answer to a question
  • To share advice or opinions on topics such as relationships, politics, sports, etc.
  • To sell products and services.
  • To gather information from visitors (for example, surveys and quizzes).

As you can see, most pages serve different purposes, and Google likes to rank pages that fulfill searchers’ expectations. The more specific the purpose of a page, the better Google will be able to classify it!

A website’s ‘purpose’ is determined by how Google thinks visitors use it, so you should think about why people might search for your site and what they could be looking for (or asking).

Google looks at what words users use to find your site and if it matches your actual purpose.

Amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness

EAT is a combination of the three most essential SEO qualities: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

BlakSheep Creative Google Eat Explained

Pages with strong EAT are rated highly by Google’s search quality raters because they’re thought to be more likely to rank higher in online searches than other pages on your site or competitors’. So what does it stand for?

Expertise

Who is the creator of the content? The author of the content is significant. The more expertise they have in writing about that topic, the better chance their article will give readers exactly what they want and need to know!

Authoritativeness

How authoritative are the author and the website where the content is published? Does the website usually produce high-quality content? If so, it should be expected that Google will preview higher than if the site was not considered an authority. 

Authoritativeness is related to the expertise of the author.

Trustworthiness

Is it trustworthy? Is it safe? Can you really trust what they have to say about the topic in question? Does their discussion contain nothing but facts and misrepresentations, or are there opinions too? 

Google wants you to read articles that don’t make you wonder whether the author has some hidden agenda or only wants to sell you products!

So if your site is considered a high authority, then it will be ranked higher by Google.

EAT is a critical factor in evaluating the overall quality of a page. A page lacking EAT will be ranked poorly by Google and may rank lower than desired, leading to poor SERP rankings for your company’s business!

Main content quality and amount

The content of a page is perhaps one of the most critical factors in determining how Google ranks a site. They pay particular attention to things like:

  • Grammar and spelling mistakes.
  • Content should be written clearly and have a lot of information. Longer content gets more backlinks to it than shorter content, so longer content is better for rankings. This study from Backlinko proves this.
  • The information on this site should be true, and the facts should be accurate.
  • The information needs to be shown in a way that people will want to read.
  • Content on a shopping website should allow users to find the products easily.
  • All videos and other elements on the site, such as a calculator or game, should be functioning correctly.
grammarly spelling tool call to action example

You can check the word count of a web page using an online tool like Word Counter. Similarly, you could use Grammarly to ensure your content is free from grammatical errors and readability levels are high for readers with different reading abilities.

Straightforward and satisfying website information

On any website on the internet, you should have clear information about who is responsible for the website.

This includes an office address and other contact details.

If your website is directly responsible for the health or well-being of a human, you need to disclose these details.

For shopping websites, adding a customer support number is essential because it helps users resolve issues.

 This information, along with contact details or live chats, are factors in determining your site’s search ranking at Google depending on what niche you have- so all these pieces need to be included for optimum results!

Website reputation

Google establishes the reputation of a website through analyzing the web about references from other experts regarding what they have written or said about a website.

Some ways how Google identifies a website’s reputation are:

  • Articles published by reputable news agencies about the website.
  • Recognitions and awards won by the business.
  • User ratings about an online store or business.
  • For health-related queries, Google considers both the website and the author’s history and reputation in handling health-related issues. If the site is associated with another reputable site (e.g., a medical site linking to a fitness website), this will contribute to the overall quality score of the page, and Google will rank it higher than any other sites that aren’t related – or don’t have such links!
  • Any other information such as Wikipedia, niche blogs, and forums.

Many sites can give you information on a website’s reputation. Some, like Moz and SEMrush, will show the Domain Authority as well as Trust Score; Ahrefs has its own rating system called “Ahrefs Domain Rating,” while Majestic SEO provides insight into whether or not people trust the site with their data by showing them how much flow there is from other websites back to yours.

What does Google consider good quality?

Quality for Google is the measure of how well a website ranks in search engine results. It can also be used to describe the quality of content on any given site, which includes factors such as its SEO and linking with other highly-ranked sites.

To learn more about Google’s quality guidelines, you can read them at: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/guidelines/webmaster-guidelines

Although it’s not an exact science, here are some of the things we believe can affect a site’s quality:

Content Length

The ongoing and never-ending debate – how long should quality content be?

You could ask 100 SEO experts, and they would probably give you a different answer. Some believe that longer content directly correlates with higher search rankings; however, others argue for shorter yet powerful pieces of writing which can resonate more quickly on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.

But it’s what Google thinks that matters when it comes down to evaluating the importance (or lack thereof) regarding word counts when ranking websites. 

The recent update from their Quality Raters team has been very clear about where this company stands: short posts won’t get your site any higher up than number 11!

However, it’s what Google thinks that really matters, and they have been very clear about how they feel about the importance (or lack of it) when it comes to the word count in evaluating quality content.

It’s no surprise to hear that word count doesn’t matter when it comes to ranking websites. After all, Google has been very clear about its position on the issue, and John Mueller revealed in August 2019 that “word count is not a ranking factor.”

Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines

Search Quality Raters Guidelines is a document that Google’s Quality Raters use/reference to rate websites.

This guideline outlines the conditions and elements of sites, including text on pages to consider when rating them; it replaced an older version with a 168-page length compared to a 175-page print copy found within Search Rankings Team Employees Handbook (SRTEH).

Search quality raters are individuals who evaluate the relevance of Google’s organic search results. The guidelines for these raters are available on the “Search Quality Rating Guidelines” page, which is part of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

The guidelines state that the quality of a web page is determined by its content, relevance to search terms being searched for, and other factors such as design quality and site speed.

A Google site’s quality is determined by how well a website meets the guidelines set out in their Webmaster Guidelines.

These guidelines state that a web page’s quality is determined by its content, relevance to search terms being searched for, and other factors such as speed and site design quality.

Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines Purpose

Google’s search index covers hundreds of billions of web pages.

Search raters are rained using guidelines that guarantee consistency and unbiased evaluation of search results. 

While they don’t influence rankings directly, site owners should keep in mind that search raters provide feedback to Google to build and refine their ranking algorithms.

Your Money, Your Life (YMYL)

Some types of pages could impact your happiness or safety. These pages are held to a higher standard and need to have high E-A-T to rank well on Google. 

Interested in demonstrating your E-A-T?  Read our recent blog post, “How to Demonstrate E-A-T: Tactics to Implement (And Avoid), for Greater Search Visibility

google your money your life categories
Image Courtesy of SEMRush

These pages are called Your Money, Your Live (YMYL). Some examples of YMYL pages are:

  • Shopping or financial transaction pages are web pages that people can use to buy things online.
  • Financial information pages are web pages that provide advice about things like how to plan for retirement, pay for college, and purchase insurance.
  • Medical information pages where you can find out about health, drugs, specific diseases or conditions, mental health, and nutrition.
  • Legal information pages that provide legal advice or information. These include divorce, becoming a citizen, and creating a will.
  • Important information for an informed citizenry: webpages about local, state, and national government processes, policies, people, and laws; disaster response services; government programs and social services; news about important topics such as international events, business, politics, science.
  • Other topics can be YMYL, such as child adoption, car safety information.

Your 8-Step Plan to Incorporate These Guidelines

Here are some steps you can take to optimize your content for Google site quality:

Create a plan of action.

First, you’ll need to take a look at the current state of your site. After all, you wouldn’t want to implement drastic changes before knowing precisely what needs improvements.

Follow your plan to improve your Google ranking.

Work on Page Experience.

Page Experience is a new Google search ranking factor. It shows how good the user experience of a website page is, including factors such as:

  • Is your page mobile-friendly? Is the design mobile responsive?
  • Does your page load quickly – even over slow internet connections?
  • Does your page render well (Core Web Vitals)?

The reward for websites that satisfy users is to be at the top of Google rankings. 

This happens because it is in Google’s best interest to show only the best-performing websites and because so many sites offer high-quality content and need different ways of being ranked by search engines.

Even before Google’s mobile friendly update, their algorithm focused on elevating high-quality and unique content that demonstrates expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.

When websites with E-A-T content rank higher in Google, the Internet becomes a more helpful place for people seeking accurate and informational content.

Does page size correlate to Page Experience?

Not directly. However, a larger web page can take longer to load. It is, therefore, advisable to analyze your page size and reduce it if possible to improve how quickly your site loads.

Can you improve your site’s Page Experience? 

Yes! You can! Here are a few different ways to improve your site’s Page Experience:

example of responsive web design agency baton rouge la

Use a responsive design. This means that your webpage will adjust its layout and content depending on whether it is being shown on a desktop or a mobile device. You can check how Google views your page to see if it is considered “mobile-friendly.”

Maintain standards for web performance. This means that you need to ensure that your content loads quickly and performs well on browsers.

Focus on quality content. Google is constantly updating its algorithm to determine a page’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness to decide if the information presented in the search results pages is accurate and helpful. 

Be sure to take an in-depth look at your content and determine how to improve its quality.

Improve site’s speed and page size. Google uses site speed as a ranking factor, so it will help you boost user experience and, subsequently, Page Experience. 

Besides reducing the size of your website pages to make them load faster (Google recommends keeping webpages around 1.52MB or lower), you can also improve speed by reducing the number of HTTP requests, optimizing images, and using browser caching.

The bottom line is that your site should meet all expectations users have of a website. To do this, you need to consider users’ browsing habits and how they expect to find information on the web. 

To make the most of Google’s search rankings, you should invest in high-quality content and focus on creating a fast, efficient site that will reward users with a positive experience.

Work on Mobile optimization.

Although many factors can affect the mobile optimization of a website, Google boils it down to three ranking factors:

  • Using modern and widely available web technologies will make it possible for your site to work on more devices and browsers.
  • Allowing for different screen sizes using responsive design so that your site’s content will adapt to fit different screen sizes on desktop and mobile devices.
  • Formatting the different elements of your page so that they load and quickly function well – this means that buttons and other interactive features should be clearly visible and easy to use.

Ensure your website is accessible. For Google, “user experience” includes all users, which is why Google considers website accessibility a best practice for search optimization. 

Learn more about website accessibility and the importance of making your website accessible to all users in our recent blog post. You can test your website’s accessibility below:

Search marketing professionals know the power of web accessibility because accessible websites have several advantages that help improve their SEO, such as:

  • more descriptive links
  • intuitive URL structure, which helps crawlers
  • keyword-rich alternative text in images
  • audio or video transcriptions that include keywords
  • and more…

Improve page content.

Quality content writing isn’t as challenging as it might seem. Sure, it’ll take a little more effort, but a little effort can reap big rewards in your rankings.

Let’s discuss how you can improve your content marketing:

Writing quality content begins with search intent. Understanding what has brought the reader to your site is essential. 

What is your reader looking for? 

Whether it be an answer, a service, an item, or instructions, you’ve lost a conversion opportunity if they don’t find what they’re looking for on your page. When creating content, create it with the user search intent in mind. 

We recommend using tools like Google Search Console to find what queries people are making to find your site.

Other quality factors, like working links, reading level, and loading time, can improve the user experience. By keeping tabs on these when writing and optimizing content, you ensure that you’re providing the best user experience possible.

Like some of the best things in life, quality content is meant to be shared. But content that is never clicked on can never be shared. 

Engaging users through dynamic titles and meta descriptions are likely to improve the click-through rate.

Once you get a user to click on your content, that isn’t enough to have it spread. 

quality content meant to be shared quote

Your content needs to hold value, which can be found in unique information, digestible content, and more. Plus, when other sites link to yours as a source, it increases your site’s authority, another vital ranking factor.

Work on Your E-A-T.

Focus on building your E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness). These three components of a quality website are the core reason SEOs should care about site quality. 

By focusing on these factors, you can separate yourself from the competition and increase authority in your industry.

Some ways you can do this are:

  • Write unique, accurate content with solid spelling and correct grammar.
  • Build positive links to your site from reputable sources.
  • Honor your site’s high-quality reputation by avoiding negative user signals like spammy comments or paid links.
  • Work on your online reviews. On-page quality signals are strong, but your site’s reputation is only as good as its reviews.

To learn more about EAT, read our recent blog post, “Google’s E-A-T: Increasing Your Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness to Raise Search Engine Rankings.”

Provide a Secure Browsing Experience.

Google expects websites to offer a safe browsing experience for visitors, yet also understands that not every website will have its users’ best interests in mind. 

user surfing secure website designer baton rouge la

That’s why Google Search factors in whether websites follow two crucial best practices for secure browsing:

  • The webpage is served over a secure connection (HTTPS)
  • The webpage does not have malicious or deceptive content intended to compromise the visitor’s privacy or security via tactics such as malware or phishing attacks.

Improve your On-Page SEO.

  • The hierarchy of your pages. Your content should be structured to make it easier for Google to analyze your site and index it for search.
  • Make sure your site is crawlable. You can do this by checking your robots.txt file, as this is the first port of call for any web-crawling software.
  • Check that your site is indexable. The easiest way to do this is by using the site:domain Google search parameter.
  • Review your sitemap. Your XML sitemap is a map of your site to Google and is very important as it helps crawlers find and rank your pages. You should ensure your map is correctly formatted, follows XML sitemap protocol, and includes all-new pages when you create them.
  • Fix any errors identified by status codes.
  • Check all your sitewide links. Ensure that your content is internally linked and that you don’t have broken links on your site.
  • Format your URLs. Make sure that you don’t have excessively long, messy URLs with unnecessary parameters. This will make it easier for crawlers to scan your pages and index them correctly.
  • Create unique meta descriptions and titles for each page of your site to improve CTR.
  • Improve the usability, accessibility, and quality of your content.
  • Check that your sitemap is accessible to Googlebot. This will help web crawlers discover new pages on your site.
  • Identify any AMP problems. Users rank speed high on their list of priorities, and, therefore, so does Google.
  • Identify any image performance problems that could be affecting your SEO.
  • Identify any cache, prefetch, or preload problems
  • Check your structured data usage. Schema markup helps search engines extract more meaning from your pages so they can present the most valuable results to searchers. Using schema can also help you land coveted position zero in the search results pages – featured snippets.

Curious about your website’s SEO?

Get your free audit!

Conclusion

The importance of site quality and the factors that determine a high Google Site Quality Score can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be!

By focusing on your E-A-T, providing a secure browsing experience for visitors, and improving your On-Page SEO, you’ll quickly see tangible benefits in rankings and conversion rates.

And don’t forget about the other vital elements like page loading time, content relevance, bounce rate, and user signals (like spammy comments or paid links).

These are all crucial considerations when trying to rank higher in search engines while also attracting more customers online.

If you want help figuring out what works best for your business needs or if you need assistance with any aspects of these components – from writing original content to regular optimization and monitoring, our team would love to help you.

BlakSheep Creative is a web design and digital marketing agency based in Denham Springs, Louisiana. We specialize in site audits, and we’ll even give you a free audit if you want us to take a look at your website.

Contact us today for your free in-depth audit.

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clint sanchez dressed up at fema headquarters

Clint Sanchez

Clint’s experience in service to others, his impeccable attention to detail, his creativity coupled with his technical expertise make him uniquely qualified for any project or challenge he may be presented with!

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