How to manually review your website before Google does
Google is the biggest search engine and it has very clear advice in its official webmaster quality guidlines. These guidelines are used for people in charge of making checks on website quality and in turn how they might rank. While these guidelines were made for Google’s manual reviewers, it also seems to influence their algorithms and is worth considering for your own website.
The general idea of the guidelines is to investigate page quality and assess whether needs are met for site visitors, if a site is considered non-compliant then it may be demoted or even removed from search results. There are some interesting benchmarks set for judgement within the stated criteria and it is worth looking at your own site to ensure it complies and performs well. It’s essential to bear in mind that a manual reviewer working for a search engine is there to represent the website user – not the website owner.
To save you from reading the 146-page tome – here are the key points to consider when evaluating your website:
Has your site got a good reputation?
Whilst you may think that your website is the best out there, you have to consider how Google will view it from a user perspective. When looking at your site, Google’s manual reviewers will try to identify what people think about your site and how reputable it is.
Feedback can come into account with reviews and independent comments about the site counting as a judgment on its credibility. Try to establish what people are saying about your site, be that in comment areas around the site or reviews of the site and try to improve on any negative comments.
Does each page have a purpose and does it meet that purpose?
This is an important question to ask yourself when looking at your site. If the key purpose of a page is to inform a user but instead it instructs without any valuable information included, then it has not met the purpose intended.
To combat this problem, go through and check each and every page of your site and ask yourself if the content really matches the title and purpose of that page. You should be ruthless in this process and try to put yourself in the position of a new visitor to your site.
Are any of your pages deceptive?
After looking at the relevance of your pages, you should consider if any of your web pages have been designed to trap or mislead a user rather than genuinely help them. Having a page that is deceptive can be as simple as clicking on a link that takes you somewhere that is not where it suggests it should take you. Keyword stuffing is also something that is frowned upon and that should be avoided on all pages.
Do you have a good mobile site?
Mobile websites are often looked at whilst people are on the go and should have an emphasis on speed. People want results quickly and they don’t want a huge amount of text to read if it can be avoided.
You should spend as much effort in designing your mobile platform as your main website. Always test how quickly users can see results and how easy the pages are to read, navigate and load.
Make sure you E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness)
The E-A-T abbreviation is an important marker for manual reviewers to use for evaluation. In summary, there must be indications that your website is the right place to go and that it won’t misinform or mislead users.
Make sure that whoever is working on the website checks all of the information on each page to ensure it is accurate, trustworthy and shows that the site is a good hub for crucial information on a subject. You should make your website stand out and really consider what makes your website engaging and unique compared to other sites.
For more advice on how to design or optimise your website, get in touch with one of the experts Varn.