5 Tips To Evaluate Your Own Website Before Google Does
Google, as the biggest search engine, has clear advice in its official Search Quality guidelines, used as instructions for people tasked with making checks on website quality. While these guidelines are made for Google’s manual reviewers, this also seems to influence their algorithms so are worth considering for your own website. To save you time reading the 146 page tome – here are five valuable points on which to focus your energies.
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The general guidelines are there to investigate page quality and assess whether needs are met for the visitor. Within these criteria there are some interesting benchmarks set for judgement. Always keep in mind that a manual reviewer working for the search engine has the job to represent the user for that site – not the website owner.
- Has Your Site Got A Good Reputation?
Whilst your own website may declare it is the best and make claims on how great it is – feedback, reviews and independent comments about the site will count as judgement on its credibility.
Action: Judge your own website by the quality of the responses from those that interact with it. Make improvements where feedback is consistently negative.
- Does Each Page Have And Meet A Purpose?
This is definitely a good question to ask yourself of your website. If the purpose of a page is to inform but it instructs without any valuable information then it has not met its assigned purpose.
Action: Check each and every page of your site and ask yourself if the content really matches the page’s title and purpose – is it what a visitor would hope for and expect? If not – make sure you amend the issues.
- Are Any Pages Deceptive or There Just As Bait?
Are any of your web pages designed to trap or mislead a user rather than genuinely help them? For instance, clicking on a link that takes you somewhere that is not where you thought. If so this can be viewed badly by a manual reviewer and frowned on by users. In a parallel way – keyword stuffing is never a good idea.
Action: Don’t use deceptive practices. Whilst this sort of link baiting is not always intended to be malicious as such but to draw in users, businesses that practice this are playing with fire. Revert back to point one about reputation. A few bad reviews and you get a double dose of a bad score.
- How Quick Is Your Mobile Site?
Mobile websites should have an emphasis on speed. People do not want to wait – they want results quickly on the move and they don’t want lots and lots of text to read, when it can be avoidable. Check for slow download speeds on mobile too.
Action: Spend as much effort designing and tweaking your mobile platform as your desktop computer website, to make it more efficient. Always test how quickly the user can access the results. Speed is key.
- Do You Have: Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (E-A-T)?
The E-A-T abbreviation is all over the guidelines as an important marker for manual reviewers to use for evaluation. There must be indications that your website is the right place to go, that it won’t misinform or mislead. If someone finds a website that presents facts that are in reality pure nonsense, this can be at best a waste of time and at worst potentially dangerous – for instance, if the advice is to do with healthcare. Bad advice and information can cause the visitor problems.
Action: Make sure you or the people who are working on the website are good at what they do and can communicate effectively.
For more advice on how to design your website, please contact the team at Varn.