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Advanced Factors Affecting Google's Evaluation of Your Content

Dave Orecchio
by Dave Orecchio on Apr 17, 2016 7:30:00 AM

Google has adamantly projected the notion that posting high-quality content, and acquiring credible external links, is your best bet to achieve strong search engine results placement. Quality should absolutely be at the top of your content marketing priority list. However, in highly competitive industries, you might find that excellent content alone isn't landing you on the first page for important keywords.

Knowing some of the added-value tricks to convert your quality material into more powerful rankings is of great value. The following are a few of the advanced factors Google evaluates that you must work into your search engine optimization strategy.

Topic Matching

The days of assuming you could simply integrate a primary set of keywords a few times in an article and achieve strong SERP (search engine results page) are gone. Google's evaluation tools have become much too "intelligent" to fall for that. Instead, you have to consider Google as if it were a real person evaluating the full scope of the information on your site and deciding what it all means.

By gathering hundreds or thousands of pages into its database on practically ever topic known to man, Google has developed a keen sense of how various subjects and terms relate. If you create an article and focus on keywords rather than natural quality, search engines can likely detect that lack of topics it typically finds in similar articles of high quality.

As an example, assume you write an article called, "Best Gluten-Free Cereal Brands". As it analyzes articles of a similar vein, Google identifies common topics addressed, such as "cereal without wheat" or "health benefits of gluten-free cereal". If Google's crawlers pick up a lack of naturally-related topics and phrase matches, you could get downgraded in the results. In contrast, by writing with a quality-first approach, and then ensuring adequate keyword utilization, you more likely include the common matches that contribute to better SEO rank.

Preferred Formatting

Google is also analyzing more than just the collection of words on your web page. Its crawlers identify the common formats, article lengths and reading levels preferred by readers of various types of information. If your post is a complete mismatch for what Google determines as the behavioral pattern of its readers, you are in trouble.

Spend some time researching competitor articles. Also, consider what type of content you'd appreciate on a given topic. When looking for a particular "how-to" article, for instance, readers might want something in step-by-step list format, written concisely and easy to read. Give the readers what they want, and Google applauds.

google evaluation of content for SEO

As Google's artificial intelligence has increased,
your ability to deliver a quality website user experience
closely aligns with SEO success.

Desired Elements

Visitors do not like straight-line posts with no visual breaks or videos to watch. Google doesn't simply look to see whether you have something beyond text on your page. Instead, they use their ability to analyze the behavior of the visitor on the page including the time on the page. If a visitor lands on one of your website pages from a search and then hits the back button quickly, search engines demote the keyword ranking for that page. Make sure your page content is well written and entertaining to keep visitors engaged.

Video demonstrations are especially popular in 2016. If someone is looking for an article on how to fix something around the house, they would likely find a video showing the process helpful. Therefore, if top-ranked articles all have quality videos in the midst of their articles, it is a safe bet Google is sensing value. Graphics, interactive quizzes, calculator tools, and images are other potential added-value elements.

Accuracy and Honesty

As integrity has become more and more important in business and industry, Google has ramped up its expectations that content providers deliver honest, accurate and valid information. While the search engine company isn't in the business of censoring fiction, it does want to ensure readers believe its search results are useful and relevant.

You may wonder how Google can assume the role of "lie detector" when courts still typically reject polygraph evidence. In fact, Google is simply comparing the claims made by the subject site against similar claims made by the sites Google already trusts and ranks well. In other words, if your factual statements mesh well with those of other credible resources, you may be allowed into the SEO circle of trust.

website topic search authority

The importance of accuracy centers on factual
content or data. You still have room for subjective
opinions or editorial content.

Topical Authority

Sites that have high domain rank authority do well in SERP for many of the keywords they target. However, Google now gives greater consideration to the level of expertise a domain has around a particular topic or subject area. If the search engine believes your company or brand is a leader in quality garage doors, for instance, you would likely fair well against a general content publisher taking aim at this category.

As Google evaluates content across the web, it matches off-site mentions of your brand name or domain and associates those with your domain or on-site branding. Getting a lot of favorable news coverage, positive mentions about your company in feeds or other blog posts, and positive reviews on independent sites can all contribute to your topic authority.


You should notice that many of these factors that enable Google to evaluate the quality of content. If you write with the aim of serving the interests of your target audience, you should naturally address many of these factors. Knowing the particulars, though, is helpful as you review your work to find opportunities for fine-tuning. Pay special attention to covering topics with the level of comprehension readers, and Google, expect. Add desirable elements that enhance your content's value and make accuracy a priority.

Download the 17 SEO Myths You Should Leave Behind for more expert insights on turning your quality content into high search engine rankings!

dispel the SEO myths

Bristol Strategy is a full funnel inbound marketing agency and inbound sales agency offering the full complement of  Inbound Marketing services that enable our clients to surpass their business objectives by transforming the way they engage with their buyer on-line.  Reach out to us to learn more about how our experience and capabilities can help your business grow. 

Tags: Content Marketing SEO

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Dave Orecchio
Written by Dave Orecchio
Dave Orecchio is one of the earliest adopters of Inbound Marketing. As one of Hubspot’s first customers and CEO of a Boston-based startup, he experienced the benefits of this effective digital marketing methodology. Dave now provides Inbound (marketing & Sales) services to businesses to help them grow and realize the positive results that an integrated program can provide. Dave is a high-tech marketing and sales expert with more than 25 years of business experience.
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