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SEO Tips and News for Content Marketers - Issue #2

Welcome to my September 2019 newsletter! This month, we’re talking about quality content, how Google

SEO Tips and News for Content Marketers

September 25 · Issue #2 · View online
Each month, I curate articles that I believe will be interesting to SEO-focused content marketers. Please subscribe to receive future issues!

Welcome to my September 2019 newsletter! This month, we’re talking about quality content, how Google defines quality, and how you can ensure your content meets that definition.

What Is "Quality" Content?
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.
For example, here are 20 questions Google recommends asking yourself to determine if your content is high quality.
There was also an interesting sentence in this post that Google published earlier this month:
“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.
Updating Old Content to Improve Its Quality
After you’ve learned how your content’s quality can be improved, you may want to update some of the older content on your site to bring it up to your new quality standards.
For help with that project, check out my most recent blog post, “How to Refresh Old Blog Posts for SEO,” featuring a step-by-step guide for the process I use when updating content and a checklist you can refer to when updating content on your website.
Seek Quality in the Content You Write *and* the Content You Read
We talked about SEO myths last month, so I don’t want to dedicate too much time to that again this month, but there were a couple of posts that were published this month that I just can’t help but mention.
First, Roger Montti wrote a post for Search Engine Journal about how to avoid SEO misinformation. In it, he shares a Tweet from Google’s John Mueller saying that there’s no such thing as LSI keywords.
There are so many blog posts recommending LSI keywords as an optimization tactic. There’s even an SEO tool called LSI keywords.
(Side note: if you worry over things like LSI keywords and TF-IDF when creating content, you’re wasting your time. Put your time to better use by spending it on making your content higher quality or trying to earn a few high-quality backlinks.)
Want even more information about SEO myths and how to identify false (and reliable) SEO information? I highly recommend reading every word of this SEMrush post by Bill Slawski.
Other Interesting Things I Read This Month
How Long Does It Take for Content Marketing to Work? A Case Study - The tl;dr answer: it depends. But I highly recommend reading all of the way through this in-depth piece from the guys at Grow and Convert.
Google Increases the Font Size for SEO Titles - Ever feel like Google doesn’t give you enough characters to write a compelling SEO title? Always? Yeah, me too. And now, you have even fewer characters to work with. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
The Best Structured Data Tools for SEOs and Content Marketers - If you’ve been wanting to add structured data to your website but aren’t sure how to do it, check out this Databox roundup featuring structured data tips and tools recommended by a bunch of people who understand these things.

I hope to see you next month!
Jessica Greene
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