Monday, January 26, 2015

Bing Reveals Secrets of Content Quality in It's Ranking Algorithm

I was browsing some old documents on content quality when I found Bing search quality insights blog has an interesting post completely focused on what Bing considers in terms of content quality before ranking web documents. This is really a great effort from Bing to educate the webmasters regarding the quality of content that they should have on their site and I really appreciate it. Google had earlier provided some information on content and site quality in it's EAT factor. Information like these is indeed useful for the audience and webmasters both. I will break down the major components here and compare both what Google and Bing suggests. I personally feel, creating content based on the factors discussed below will help your site to gain rankings both in Google and Bing.

The 'AUP' Factor in Content Quality 

Content quality is mainly judged on the basis of 3 factors. I will name it as the 'AUP' factor. The AUP factor consists of Authority, Utility and Presentation.



Authority 

If someone searches with a query "healthy eating during pregnancy", what results are you expecting as an end user? You will love to see results from authoritative websites, right? something that you can trust. Search engines have special trust algorithm that determines the trust factor associated with the content, its author, or the website. In addition to this, a variety of factors are used to establish and determine the authority of a page. These include signals from social networks, cited sources, name recognition and the author’s identity.

If we compare the search results returned by Google and Bing then both are more or less the same. Sites like mayoclinic, nhs, babycenter and webmd are trusted by both Google and Bing. So, what are those trust factors that are working for these websites?

See Also - How Google Might Determine Site Quality Based on Phrase Model

Bing and Google both generate a content quality score based on a number of factors. The content quality value is determined by comparing a web page to patterns found in known low-quality web pages such as parked web pages, content farm web pages, and/or link farm web pages. The presence or absence of each pattern can have a corresponding effect on the content quality value.

Negative Signals That Reduce the Content Quality Score

  • Duplicated content
  • Inaccurate or nonsense content
  • Spelling and grammatical mistakes
  • Having a lot of ads on the site that distract the audience
  • Making the user read through a lot of content before he finds the actual content he is looking for
  • Use of overly large pictures that do not add value
  • Rewording existing content from other sites
  • Using commonly known facts, for example, “Lion is an animal. Lion lives in a Jungle. Lion is the king of the jungle ”
  • Linking to low quality sites
Utility

Is the content sufficiently useful for the topic it is trying to address?  The utility factor addresses the issue of supporting ample information a web page. The level of depth and the presence of supporting multimedia content: instructional videos, images, graphs, etc. are all covered under this factor.

Presence of unique content is always preferred in place of recycled, low quality or duplicate content. Bing even discloses one of the ranking factors by publicly saying "A great example of this are real estate listing sites. These sites generally syndicate information available elsewhere (via MLS or government sources). However, even these kinds of sites can move up in the ranking results if they set themselves apart with unique value that others in that category may not have, such as school information or nearby transportation options."

See Also: 7 Types of Content You Must Avoid in Your Site
                 How to Create User Intent Based Content

Presentation 

An easy to read page, having well presented menu, proper internal links, accessible design and the primary content easy to find are some of the basics of effective presentation of content which the search engines consider before ranking any web page.

Bing said "It will promote and support websites and webmasters that provide ads relevant to the content of their website and place ads so that they do not interfere with the user experience."

Examples of Low Quality Content Pages

Here are some examples of low quality pages which will find hard to rank itself in the search engines:

The page below displays a lot of ads and also the author information is missing. So, from authority, utility and presentation point of view, this page just sucks!




Formula for Judging the Content Quality


In Bing, the relevance of a result is a function of:


  • Topical relevance to the query (“Does it address the query?”)
  • Content Quality (as measured by the AUP factor), and
  • Context (“Is the query about a recent topic?”, “What’s the user’s physical location?” etc…)


Ranking= f (topical relevance, context, content quality)

Improving the content quality on your site is just one of the easiest ways through which you can help the search engines find more useful content for the users. For all those SEO folks, looking to increase rankings of their website, try the cocktail of EAT + AUP factor and I am sure you will get to see some good results.

Also See:

Understanding Google's Page Layout Algorithm
Google Indepth Articles
Quoted Search Results
Importance of Content for SEO
How to Make Your Website More User Friendly
Step by Step Seo Copywriting Guide
Seo Tutorial
5 Tools to Make Your Site Content Hummingbird Friendly
Seo Guide for Schema Vocabulary
Rich Snippets in Google
5 Ways to Boost SEO by Leveraging Google Brandvantage
Ways to Increase TrustRank
How Google Identifies Entities Using Attributes
Trust Button and Persona Pages
How Google Uses Contextual Search Terms
Taxonomic Classification to Find Real Context of Words

Friday, January 23, 2015

A New Structured Data Testing Tool For Better Results

Google recently launched a new version of the Structured Data Testing tool to better reflect Google’s interpretation of your content. The new tool can be accessed at this URL.


.
The new tool contains examples for all the available structured data namely:











 This new tool has expanded support for the JSON-LD markup syntax. 

Features of This New Tool

  • Structured data Validation for all Google features  
  • Support for JSON-LD syntax, including in dynamic HTML pages
  • Clean display of the structured data items on your page
  • Syntax highlighting of markup problems right in your HTML source code

Also See:

Monday, January 19, 2015

Should You Stop Creating New Content and Instead Focus on Updating Old Ones?

When we talk about content marketing, the first thing that comes in our mind is creating new content. Several webmasters and business owners have literally wasted tons of money creating content that has generated little to no impressionsIn spite of that, we follow the older tradition and keep on investing on new content simply for the sake of traffic and engagement. Alas, most of the time we fail. 



Isn't it a better strategy to revamp the old content piece instead of spending your time and money on creating new ones? This may not hold true in many situations like in the case of latest NEWS, you will need to create new stuff often but what in the case of evergreen content that generate the maximum number of backlinks and social shares? Such content never get old and present before you an opportunity to make that content piece stand apart from that of your competitors. So, in the year 2015, where do you wish to spend your time and money on? Creating new ones or revamping the older ones?



I would suggest to go with a 60:40 ratio and use 60% of your resources to create new content but use 40% of your resources to revamp the older content that you are already having in your site. I always prefer to give an example of Wikipedia. How does Wikipedia became so popular and trustworthy because it keeps on updating the older content pieces on a regular basis. 

This is the reason, none of its pieces grow old and they always rank at the top of Google. The pieces are comprehensive but they aren't created in a single day, they are created after tons of revisions which continue everyday. We can take some mileage from this Wikipedia example and update our older content present on some of our top landing pages. This would be extremely effective not only to the business but for the end user as well. Search engines highly value content that benefits the end user and this strategy of updating the older content might work really well.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

How to Include Your Business Social Profiles in Search Results Under Knowledge Graph?

Google has started displaying the social profiles of businesses along with the Knowledge Graph. This is a good move by Google as the entire social visibility of the brand can now become visible to the user with a simple brand name search query. 

As for example, a search for Samsung brand returns the social profiles maintained by samsung under the Knowledge Graph displayed on the right hand side.




Now, the question is, how does Google identifies which is the official social account of the business? or How can you enable Google to identify and display your brands social profiles in Google search results?

The answer is, you need to use the  structured data markup to specify your preferred social profiles. Social profiles currently supported are:

Facebook
Twitter
G+
Instagram
Youtube
LinkedIn
Myspace

In order for Google to recognize structured data as social profiles, make sure you fulfill these requirements:

Publish markup on a page on your official website
Pages with markup must not be blocked to the Googlebot by robots.txt
Include a Person or Organization record in your markup with:
"url" = the url of your official website
"sameAs" = the urls of your official social media profile pages

You can use he schema.org vocabulary and JSON-LD markup format for displaying markups.

Example Snippet for My Blog using JSON-LD markup format:

<script type="application/ld+json">
{ "@context" : "http://schema.org",
  "@type" : "Organization",
  "name" : "Seosandwitch",
  "url" : "http://www.seosandwitch.com",
  "sameAs" : [ "https://www.facebook.com/SeoSandwitch",
    "https://twitter.com/seosandwitch",
    "https://plus.google.com/+Seosandwitch/posts"] 
}
</script>


OR you can also use the schema.org vocabulary: 

<span itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Organization">
  <link itemprop="url" href="http://www.seosandwitch.com"> 
  <a itemprop="sameAs" href="https://www.facebook.com/SeoSandwitch">FB</a>
  <a itemprop="sameAs" href="https://twitter.com/seosandwitch">Twitter</a>
</span>

The SCRIPT block can be inserted anywhere on the page — either the head or body of the page.

Also See: