Actually, the real question is, Does Google think your site is a “Quality Site?”
Google Panda, released earlier in the year, is an attempt to lower the rank of low-quality sites and increase the rank of high-quality sites. This search algorithm is unique as it is programmed to mimic human judgement of sites.
So what’s a high-quality site?
A high-quality site is one that engages users. If you are using Google Analtyics (and you are, right?) you can get some good information about your website. Just on the overview, you can learn:
- How many people visited your site
- How many of those visitors were unique (from different computers/devices)
- How many page views there were
- The average page view per visitor
- The average time spent on your site
- The bounce rate of those visitors (how many users only viewed one page before leaving)
If you have a high bounce rate, try to think about why people are wanting to leave your site. It may have something to do with the user experience.
A high-quality site plans for a good user experience
User experience is, quite simply, the experience a user has while on your site. It is also one of the more complex concepts of web design as each user experiences the website differently. Remember, Google Panda emulates how humans would rank your site, and it’s taking usability into account.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines user experience as “a person’s perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service,” which means it’s subjective. The only way to plan for user experience is to learn how users want to experience your site. Ask users about what they want from your site, not necessarily what you want to get out if it.
A high-quality site uses proper grammar and spelling
Imagine you were handed a piece of print marketing that was misspelled and full of grammar errors. Would you trust it? Probably not. Before you publish to the web, triple check your copy. If you know your spelling and grammar are atrocious, go ahead and put it through the spelling and grammar check in a word processor (like Word) and give it to at least one more person to reread…before it goes live.
A high-quality site has high-quality content
Good content is the heart of any website. Having regularly updated content is even better. Google Panda was created in response to the now standard social media technologies, like Facebook and Twitter, and social media users who expect information to be available instantly. You don’t have to update your content every day, but if your competitor updates their site more regularly than you update yours, you may be at a disadvantage.
What’s a low-quality site?
Quite frankly, a low-quality site is one that does the exact opposite of a high-quality site.
- High bounce rate; low page views (people don’t want to go to or stay on your site)
- Bad user experience (which may result in the above)
- Poor spelling and grammar
- Low-quality, stale, or not recently updated content
Ask yourself, is your site high-quality?