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Analysing 20 questions on SEO from Google

Google recently released an article with the surprisingly forthright title of What webmasters should know about Google’s core updates. The article poses twenty questions we might ask ourselves about our content:

  1. Does the content provide original information, reporting, research or analysis?
  2. Does the content provide a substantial, complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  3. Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  4. If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?
  5. Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?
  6. Does the headline and/or page title avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?
  7. Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  8. Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  9. Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site’s About page?
  10. If you researched the site producing the content, would you come away with an impression that it is well-trusted or widely-recognized as an authority on its topic?
  11. Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?
  12. Is the content free from easily-verified factual errors?
  13. Would you feel comfortable trusting this content for issues relating to your money or your life?
  14. Is the content free from spelling or stylistic issues?
  15. Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  16. Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  17. Does the content have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  18. Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?
  19. Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  20. Does the content seem to be serving the genuine interests of visitors to the site or does it seem to exist solely by someone attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?

Just reading this list might give you a new view on what your content might contain. However, if you’d like to see some comment on what each question means, there’s a breakdown on Neil Patel’s blog. Neil says: “Instead of focusing on SEO, the real trick to winning is to focus on the user. Go above and beyond and do what is best for them even if you feel it will hurt your rankings in the short run. Because in the long run, Google will figure it out and you should rank better if you are genuinely putting the user first and doing a better job than your competition”.