Quality means different things to different people. For example, when it comes to steaks, my husband prefers a heavily marbled ribeye. I, on the other hand, prefer a nice, tender filet mignon.
Quality is subjective.
To understand what cut of steak will please someone the most, you have to understand what they value in a steak. And to understand what type of content Google will rank highest, you have to understand what Google values in a piece of content.
The good news: Google’s provided a ton of direction—both recently and historically—that provides insight into how it defines quality when it comes to content.
“The principles that guide how they operate are mapped out in our search rater guidelines, a public document that allows raters to better understand and assess the unique characteristics of content that appears in Search results. In short: these guidelines are the clear description of what we value in content when ranking.”
For my next blog post, I’m planning to parse through all of these documents and resources to put together a guide to what Google values when ranking content. But to be honest, it’s going to take me a while to do that.
So in the meantime, I would encourage everyone—particularly if your content isn’t performing as well as you’d like in search—to read through these documents, form your own insights, and apply what you learn to the content on your site.