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Creating Valuable Content: A Guide to Google’s Advice on Helpful, Reliable Pages

Creating Valuable Content: A Guide To Google’s Advice On Helpful, Reliable Pages

Content Roadmap

Recent studies reveal the concerning scale of thin and duplicated content online today:

  • Back in December 2013, former Google´s search expert Matts Cutts, told us that over 25%–30% of the web’s pages contain primarily duplicate or scraped content, with little to no original value added.
  • 50% or more of content on thousands of news sites comes directly from content farms and auto-generated sources, based NewsGuard.
  • A Baymard report in 2022 found that 70% of product descriptions across e-commerce sites provide the exact same factual information, with no unique details.
  • According to a survey by Referral Rock, 69% of marketers reused content by turning it into an infographic, 65% packaged content into videos and social media posts, and 52% repurposed content by publishing it on guest sites.

This proliferation of mass-produced, low-quality pages fails to meet the standards of helpfulness and reliability set by Google. In fact, experts estimate that adherence to Google’s content guidelines correlates directly with higher search visibility and engagement:

  • A survey by BrightEdge revealed that 52% of marketers believe that demonstrating expertise and thought leadership is the most effective way to engage customers.
  • Sites producing comprehensive, insightful content have 65% higher dwell time and 35% lower bounce rates. – Backlinko
  • And Oberlo also reported that 92.96% of global traffic comes from Google Search, Google Images, and Google Maps.
What google consider low-quality webpages to illustrate the problem of thin content.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Google’s specific criteria for high-quality, valuable information.
  • Tips for creating insightful, useful content aligned with Google’s goals.
  • Strategies for evaluating and improving your existing content.
  • Best practices for leveraging automation appropriately.

Optimizing your content according to Google’s recommendations can increase search visibility, build trust, and help you connect with an audience. By providing true value, you gain the opportunity to rank well.

The Value of High-Quality Content

Producing content that adheres to Google’s guidelines provides significant benefits beyond improved search performance. High-quality pages that offer value to visitors can:

  • Increase organic traffic by 150% or more. Sites providing insightful analysis saw traffic improve by 175%.
  • Boost dwell time by up to 85%. Pages with comprehensive details had average dwell time of over 5 minutes.
  • Cut bounce rates in half. Valuable content kept visitors engaged, reducing bounce rates from 60% to 30%.
  • Improve click-through rates (CTR) from search results by 25% or more by appearing credible.
  • Build loyalty among returning visitors who find your content useful.
  • Establish your site as an authoritative source, gaining links and citations.

Clearly, focusing effort on creating content that meets Google’s criteria pays dividends. But what exactly makes content high-quality and valuable in their eyes?

HTML Takeaway: Adhering to Google’s content guidelines leads to 150%+ more organic traffic, 85% higher dwell time, 50% lower bounce rates, and 25% better CTRs.

A graph or chart showing the increased organic traffic, dwell time, etc. That correlates with higher quality content.

Focusing on Comprehensive, Original Content

Google wants to see content that provides insightful analysis beyond just summarizing or rewriting existing sources. Here are tips for developing comprehensive, valuable content:

  • Conduct original research like surveys, experiments, or interviews.
  • Perform extensive testing of products or services.
  • Create detailed guides providing step-by-step walkthroughs.
  • Share insights from your own experiences and experiments.
  • Explain a topic in-depth, leaving no stone unturned.
  • Evaluate all sides of complex issues fairly and thoroughly.

Your content should stand out from competitors by offering something extra. Instead of the typical product overview, provide a detailed buying guide. Rather than a basic city guide, create an insider’s look at hidden gems. Offer your unique perspective.

Beware thin content produced in mass quantities. For example:

  • Product pages with identical factual descriptions differing only in the product name.
  • Location pages with virtually the same generic text about a city.
  • Articles with lots of filler words just to increase page length.

Google’s systems actively scan for duplicate content spun across sites. Make every page worthwhile for users, full of helpful details they won’t find elsewhere. Demonstrate your first-hand experience and knowledge.

A writer researching and analyzing content to demonstrate original insights.

HTML Takeaway: Go beyond surface-level information to provide original research, testing, detailed guides, insider insights, and thorough analyses demonstrating real expertise.

Writing for a Human Audience

Keep the needs of readers front and center when creating content. Focus on producing “people-first” content that directly helps users, rather than pages artificially optimized for search engines. Some signs your content is aligned with Google’s goals:

  • It answers questions commonly asked by prospects.
  • It satisfies the intent behind related searches.
  • It provides practical utility like step-by-step instructions.
  • It saves people time by presenting details upfront.
  • It would still be valuable to readers coming directly to your site.

As search marketer Aleyda Solis remarked: “Forget about keywords and start thinking about user intent. What does someone searching actually want or need to know?”

Evaluate if searchers would be satisfied by your page, fulfilled enough to not have to seek out other results on the same topic. Stick to topics where you have expertise readers will appreciate. Deliver the solutions they are looking for.

Providing a Great Overall Page Experience

Beyond just content, Google wants to see pages that create a satisfying overall experience:

Google’s Page Experience Checklist

Use Google’s Test My Site tool to measure how your pages perform on key elements of experience. Review user feedback and behavior as well. Visitors bouncing quickly back to search suggest low satisfaction.

Google lighthouse screenshot showing the best core web vitals results for a website

Follow web best practices like optimized images, efficient code, and fast servers to improve experience. Create easily scannable content with descriptive headers and highlights like bullet points. Maintain a consistent site architecture and navigation. It all contributes to a smooth user journey.

Auditing Existing Content

Improving existing content is just as crucial as creating new high-quality pages. Follow this checklist to audit your content:

  • Does the content offer truly useful information and unique value?
  • Is the page well-optimized for scannability and user experience?
  • Is the content well-researched, thorough, accurate, and regularly updated?
  • Does the page load fast, have a secure connection, and function well on mobile?
  • Does the headline and preview snippet accurately summarize the content?
  • Is there an opportunity to expand the page into a more comprehensive resource?
  • Can stale, outdated, or irrelevant content be refreshed or consolidated?

Also carefully evaluate if any of your content comes from low-quality sources:

  • Articles generated by AI or other automation rather than humans.
  • Duplicate content spun across sites.
  • Mass-produced pages with slight variations.
  • Guest posts created for guest posting’s sake.
  • Pages targeting random money keywords without expertise.

Tools like Copyscape can identify duplicated text, while AI tools including Jasper and Minuto can flag computer-generated content. Ramp up manual reviews to catch borderline quality issues. Initiate site resets where needed to clean up low-value pages.

Using Automation and AI Appropriately

Automation and AI tools have great potential for augmenting human-produced content when applied judiciously. Follow these best practices:

Enable automation to perform repetitive factual research like compiling data, statistics, product specs, and presenting it consistently. This can free up writers to focus on expert analysis.

Use AI-generated content as a starting point but have human editors thoroughly revise and optimize it by adding personal research and perspectives. The AI provides a basis you build upon.

Avoid passing off machine-created content as human-written without disclosures. Be transparent when processes are automated.

Don’t allow automation to completely replace human creation. Unique insights require human intelligence.

Don’t use automation to churn out high volumes of thin, low-value pages just to populate a site. Produce content the old-fashioned way.

Apply automation selectively to genuinely enhance and scale up your efforts, not take shortcuts. Ensure human oversight of any machine-generated content before publishing. PrioritizeOriginal ResearchTesting Step-by-Step Guides Insider Insights In-Depth Analyses Thoughtful Perspectives Unique Viewpoints

Optimizing Content for E-E-A-T

To better align your content with Google’s goals of experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T), ask yourself:

  • Does the content demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge?
  • Is the content created and presented in a way that builds user trust?
  • Is the content well-researched, fact-checked, and regularly updated?
  • Does the overall site establish itself as reputable and knowledgeable?
A graph or chart about increased trust and engagement from high e-e-a-t content.

Boost trust and authority by:

  • Publishing content under real author names with biographies.
  • Linking to high-quality sources and citations.
  • Getting content written or reviewed by topic experts.
  • Auditing regularly to remove inaccurate or outdated information.
  • Disclosing content sources and any potential conflicts of interest.
  • Avoiding unsubstantiated claims or exaggerations. Stick to facts.

Meeting high standards of E-E-A-T takes diligence but pays dividends in Google’s eyes. Make it a priority across all your content.

Conclusion

Google’s recommended guidelines for high-quality, valuable content may require revamping practices that have become all too common, like automated generation at scale. But the benefits to your site and audience make the effort worthwhile. By showcasing expertise and providing content for humans rather than search engines, you gain trust and visibility. Readers will appreciate content aligned with Google’s advice.

Focus first on creating amazing content that stands apart from competitors and demonstrates your knowledge. Organize information in a consumable way. Format pages for excellent user experience on all devices. Treat content as an asset not just for search rankings but also for engaging your audience.

Adhering to Google’s guidelines helps the search engine reward pages that merit visibility. But more importantly, it makes your content better for people. That’s the true measure of success.

So, commit to offering nothing but your best. Keep Google’s advice front of mind as you produce reliable pages brimming with insights and expertise. Your readers will thank you for it.

Jesus Guzman

M&G Speed Marketing LTD. CEO

Jesus Guzman is the CEO and founder of M&G Speed Marketing LTD, a digital marketing agency focused on rapidly growing businesses through strategies like SEO, PPC, social media, email campaigns, and website optimization. With an MBA and over 11 years of experience, Guzman combines his marketing expertise with web design skills to create captivating online experiences. His journey as an in-house SEO expert has given him insights into effective online marketing. Guzman is passionate about helping businesses achieve impressive growth through his honed skills. He has proud case studies to share and is eager to connect to take your business to the next level.