Last week Google spilled the beans on how you can take advantage of their secret formula to get better rankings. They wrote an important post on their blog that I think all affiliate marketers need to know about.
It discusses what they want from webmasters and content writers and gives you a clear understanding of how they “think”. If you follow the principles behind their questions, you can’t go too wrong when creating a website or content that ranks.
For many years, we have been saying that to get ongoing search engine traffic you need to provide quality original content that is useful to searchers and to your readers. During that time, there have been many Google updates but their goal has never really changed: quality answers to search questions.
In Google’s words, “Our advice for publishers continues to be to focus on delivering the best possible user experience on your websites and not to focus too much on what they think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or signals.”
In simple terms, Google is saying that you should write for people, not for them.
If you’re looking at building long term cash flow from your sites, you need to write for people first. People read your content, they make assumptions about you from it and they decide whether you’re a trusted source BEFORE they even consider buying from your links.
Google says to ask yourself:
- Would you trust the information presented in this article?
- Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
- Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
- Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
- Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
- Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
- Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- How much quality control is done on content?
- Does the article describe both sides of a story?
- Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
- 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?
- Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
- Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
- Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
- Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
- Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
- Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
- Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
- Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
Google’s message to affiliate marketers
As you read through that list, you may have noticed one thing that stands out again and again:
“Search is a complicated and evolving art and science, so rather than focusing on specific algorithmic tweaks, we encourage you to focus on delivering the best possible experience for users.”
I suggest you print this post out and put that list of questions next to your computer until they are ingrained in your thinking. Every time you go to add content or plan a new affiliate site, read them again and consider them before you put fingers to keys.
After all, if you can’t take Google’s word on what they want to see, whose word can you take?
Click here to read all that Google has to say.
Additional Information worth reading:
Ken Evoy has put together a great article that follows on from mine that you might find interesting. It was definitely worth the read and a second point of view is always great. Click here to read Ken's post.