Five factors that determine the overall page quality


Google always ranks a web page after determining its overall quality. Page quality is a measure of the importance of a web page in the eyes of Google.

In order to determine the overall quality of a web page, Google hires real humans who are known as “Search Quality Raters“.

Page Quality rating or PQ is a grade given by Page Quality raters who have the responsibility of evaluating “how well a page achieves its purpose”.

Purpose of the content, author expertise, links, and brand citations all come into play while measuring the quality of a page.

In this article, I will discuss the top five factors that directly impact the overall quality of a web page. Let’s start!

1. Purpose of the page

The purpose of the page is the real reason behind the creation of the page.

A page can be created to serve a particular purpose or multiple purposes, make money or harm the user by inserting malicious code via cookies or download buttons.

The first thing that Google does is understanding the purpose of the page in response to the user search. Google applies semantic search to understand the meaning of the words behind the query and matches them with the purpose of the page.

Google presents the best answers to the user after accurately identifying the real intent of the searcher. The purpose of your page must match the real intent of the searcher.

Different sites have different purposes. Hence it is important to identify the real purpose of the page.

Some common purposes of a page

  • The homepage of a news website to share the news with the people.
  • The category page of a shopping portal to sell products to people.
  • A personal review site to inform users about the features, pros, and cons of the product.
  • A how-to page created to help users find the answers to a specific question.
  • A video created to educate people on how to draw a summer landscape.
  • Category page of a software website to allow people to download a particular software.

For example, this page of Best VPN Zone site might have a high PQ rating for the query “how to save money on internet safety” because it lists 55 ways that actually help the searcher to find different methods that helps them to save money on internet safety. Content is over 3000 words and it is divided into proper subheadings that improve the overall readability score of the page. (For tools that you can use to check the word count and readability levels of a web page, please see point three).

When creating a web page, you should keep in mind the actual intent of the user. Identify the main purpose of your page and ask yourself – Does it accurately serve the user intent? The answer should be “yes”.

A page should not be created solely to earn money by running ads or to harm the user. Such pages have the lowest PQ rating.

2. Amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness

Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are collectively known as EAT in SEO. Pages that have strong EAT are rated highly by the search quality raters. Let’s understand what EAT means:

Expertise

Who is the creator of the content? (An article written by Danny Sullivan on SEO has more expertise when compared to an article written by any new author having a few years of experience).

Authoritativeness

How authoritative is the website where the content is published or how authoritative is the author? (An article published on science mission on the NASA website is far more authoritative when compared with an article published on a local science magazine such as this).

Trustworthiness

How trustworthy is the website where the content is published or how trustworthy is the author? (An article published by the Medical Association of Alabama is found to be more trustworthy when compared with the information in the personal blog of any random Alabama blogger).

EAT is an extremely important factor to evaluate the overall quality of a page. A page lacking EAT is considered to be of a low-quality and ranks poorly in the search results.

3. Main content quality and amount

The quality of the MC or main content is another major criteria in the calculation of the PQ rating. While determining the quality of MC, Google pays special focus on the following things:

  • There should be no spelling or grammatical errors.
  • Content should be clearly written and comprehensive (an interesting point to note here is that long-form content gets more backlinks when compared to shorter content and this is another reason why long-form content actually helps in rankings. This Backlinko study proves it.)
  • The information presented on the site should be factually correct.
  • The information should be presented well.
  • Content on a shopping website should allow users to find the products easily.
  • Any video or other features on the site like a calculator or game should be working properly.
  • EAT also applies here.

You can check the word count of a web page using a tool like Word Counter. Similarly, Grammarly can be used to check the content for any grammatical errors. Sophisticated tools like Readable give you a score for your content based on its readability levels.

A good example of a page having high-quality MC is this Wiki on Siberian Husky. The information is comprehensive, clearly written, accurate, has lots of images to make readers understand the various characteristics and every point is backed up by proper data. This makes this Wiki a page having very high-quality MC and no wonder it ranks on the first position in Google for its target keyword.

4. Clear and satisfying website information

Any website on the web should have clear information about who is responsible for the information contained on the website along with details like office address and other contact details.

Having all the contact details on your websites adds to a high degree of trust. For websites that are directly responsible for the health and well-being of a human, disclosing the details of the organization or the person behind the site is extremely necessary.

For shopping websites, adding a customer support number is important because it helps the users to resolve issues. Hence, contact information along with customer support numbers or live chats are a factor in the PQ rating of Google. Depending on the niche of your website, you must add all the information in it that will help your users.

5. Website reputation

Google also finds out the reputation of the website by 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

  • Articles published in reputed news agencies about the website.
  • Awards and recognitions won by the business. For example, a website run by a culinary expert who has won the James Beard Foundation Award for culinary excellence would be trusted more by Google when compared to any random blog run by a blogger who hasn’t received any awards.
  • User ratings about an online store or business or about a particular product or service. Google considers a large number of positive reviews as evidence of a positive reputation.
  • For health-related queries, Google carefully considers both the website and the author’s reputation while evaluating the PQ ratings. For example for a query like “what is CBD”, this resource from CBD Central might achieve high PQ ratings because it has clear information about the author. Similarly, this resource from Medicine Net has all the claims are backed up by trustworthy references and might be rated highly by the raters.
  • Any other information about the website or the author of the article on any other website like Wikipedia, niche blogs, magazine articles, and forums.

You can check the reputation of a website using tools like the Moz (for checking Domain Authority), SEMrush (for checking the Trust Score), Ahrefs (for checking the Ahrefs Domain Rating) and Majestic SEO (for checking the Trust Flow). Each of these metrics is important to determine the reputation of a website.

Bonus

Here are some useful ways that you can use to build the reputation of your website.

Final thoughts

You can’t ignore the page quality if you want to rank your page(s) highly in the search results. The above five factors should be considered carefully and steps should be taken to optimize your pages in accordance with these.

Remember, PQ rating is given by real people so don’t think of applying any Black Hat tactics to fool them. Offer the best services to your customers and genuinely earn a positive reputation for your brand. Focus on the main content quality and the purpose of the page.

Last but not least, try to earn brand mentions and links from reputed media publications and nominate your business for prestigious awards in your business category.

Joydeep Bhattacharya is a digital marketing evangelist and author of the SEO Sandwitch blog.

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