Define high quality content for me please.
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In Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specifically I would say content that ranks, so content that Google *thinks* it is high quality… in a more general way content that solves the questions/need users have… in theory Google wants that, but sometimes it gets it wrong, like the "how many legs does a horse have?" a few months ago.
Remember Google is a set of algorithms where math makes the decision on what is high quality. In theory if they used machine learning only, you could do adversarial attacks on them and cheat them into thinking your content is the best… not easy since those techniques work better in image/voice AI, but you can do it.
Does Google give you the best content? probably not in most cases, just good enough for you to solve your question, but it won't give you a Pulitzer prize piece lol
Also just to avoid people trying to do Natural Language Processing (NLP) attacks lol, Google uses things like links, etc. to Gauge those.
This is "high quality content" and Google still ranks it number one, but they had to add a "fixed" answer box to clear things out… their algorithm thinks this is the best answer:
Wikipedia:How many legs does a horse have? – Wikipedia
Their results are "high quality" from their algorithm point of view, from a "human" point of view people get confused, so they need an answer box to solve it lol
Even the Wikipedia had to edit their page. I told my niece to search for it months ago, and it was funny when the answer was 6 legs in the answer box.
Some references, this was popular in this group before:
Google Works To Fix How Many Legs Horses & Snakes Have
That being said, Steven Kang would you say at the end high quality content is the one that gets results from a business perspective? I mean that's the end goal right? We could have a Nobel Prize winner write it but if it did not rank, convert, or whatever the goal… it does not matter.
Steven Kang 👑 » Pablo Yes, if that's your objective.
Pablo » Steven Kang
Good point, not always business is the purpose, could be misinformation, just made for the love of art… or even just meme activism.
So I'll change that to: high quality content is the one that reaches the desired objective.
There is always a "depends", It's like the natural rule on every questions, and this is not the exception.
The answer for this will depends on who answer and their vision, Pablo commented about an SEO vision of the content which is consider it as tool for rank and then the high quality implies ranking factors achieved by this.
But high quality content could be also that content which give you enough information to avoid keep searching for it, in this case Wikipedia for a vast quantity of people turns into the "only one source of truth"
Also high quality content could be that which explain itself and does not require a third party content to explain it
But also high quality content could be that designed in a way that not matter the education level any reader could get a hint and then follow the ideas until understand the concept, don't requiring a previous background on the topic or external helps since this is explained using common concepts to extrapolate the main idea.
Therefore, there is not one only valid answer for this as everyone could need something different from the content.
Davi » Clint
"How can we as SEO users expected a math program to define it as high quality or not?"
That better clarifies the question. "High quality content" is a fiction contrived by Google's search quality and spam-fighting employees. By "fiction" i don't mean it does not exist – I mean fiction in the legal sense, the way corporations-are-people is a legitimate legal fiction. It's a concept made up to serve the particular context.
Now, Google does publish some guidelines for high quality content – original, authoritative, informative and coherent, to paraphrase. Literally – Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness E-A-T. Look it up: "E-A-T SEO"
A math-based algorithm can easily be configured to test the first two in a near universal collection of global Websites. Informative can be assessed in a broad sense with LSA – Latent Semantic Analysis of know authoritative sites in the same niche.
And how do we know who is authoritative in that niche? Well of course, by how many good links they have. That's how Google tests authority and informational quality, more or less. Links mostly, and some LSA — along with a bunch more wizardry subsequent generations of PhD's have contributed to the original PageRank algorithm.
But just as important as these positive indicators of quality are negative indicators. Too bad your original essay disclosing a fool-proof cure for cancer was published on a page linking to payday loans, p0rn, ED solutions and casinos, and has just as many similar inbound links.
And even though you have the cure for cancer, you probably should not have used the phrase "cure cancer" 100 times on the page. That's spammy keyword stuffing and the machine knows it because none of the good sites act like that. The world will have to wait for the cancer cure because the math tells us those bad links spell low quality content.
Of course, G engineers might argue it's two separate things, but for SEO purposes it's not. It's not about the quality of your content. It's about the overall quality of signals you provide the search algorithm, which might be unrelated to quality content.
Maybe 'quality' content is simply something that solves the readers' problem as best as possible: it's entertaining or educational, and done in a comprehensive, efficient, and memorable way.
But 'ideal' content is a whole different thing… there's algorithm as well as efficiency as well as engagement as well as substance as well as formatting for search intent as well as buyer journey stage to consider for conversion, as well as business goals.
What may educate the best is a 150 word outline, but what may rank best is a 3000 word bloaty blog post with lots of graphics injected etc that takes 15 mins to read and appeals to the algorithm: word count, density, time on page etc. There's also no denying that more keywords on page = rank for more keywords thus achieving greater biz goals. But for the reader looking for education – less is more and condensed content is best. Frankly I think the algo wastes years of humanity every day due to the requirements of long read blog posts when the whole thing can be summarized in a few sentences or a 3 min video. Wish the algo rewarded shorter more condensed content – woulda saved me months of reading neil Patel and Brian Dean posts : P
Quality content means to me :
– The content that you are offering matches the page that you are running
– You account for various recipient expectations. Yes, there is usually a "main target group" but often enough, pages neglect secondary groups, which could be converted into customers, if engaging content is available
– Know how much time your target audience has / is willing to spend and optimize content for that
– Include teasers or something that grabs the attention of your audience
– If possible, allow your target audience to "explore" and give them an incentive to do so.
– Make sure that your content is not affecting page speed to a crippling degree
– You have done your research / your content is capable of standing up to scrutiny
– If possible, there is a fallback option
– There is an intuitive system, which "unites" several elements into a whole concept, from a micro level up to a macro level.
Quality content is content that will rank now and in 10 years. What happens if an algorithm update hits in Google finally is able to read? All of that crap content design to get rankings will be worthless. And then a Monumental task to replace that content will be required. So for me at least, High quality content is content that Is written both for the search engines and for users. It doesn't have to be one or the other.
I define quality content as content that is easy on the eyes and keeps people on the website. It wants them to read more, and can lead to a conversion. I define quality content as content that informs the user, excites or calls on other emotions on the user and outclasses the competition in the end based on information and conversion. A good written article is an article you want to read, and a article you WANT to read and keeps you reading is something I personally define as Quality.
These may satisfy you: a Share – How I Created SEO Content or High Quality (HQ) Content