A newer version of Google’s internal documentation on search quality guidelines was recently “leaked,” giving us more clues into what Google deems quality in terms of websites and their content. I say “leaked” in quotation marks because it’s not the first — or even second — time this has happened with this confidential document from Google.
One can only speculate if something like this is leaked on purpose to try to motivate marketers to implement “the secret sauce.” But the concepts in the document are nothing new, nor are they secret. In fact, they support what Google and leading marketers have been teaching for years: quality content comes from expertise and effort.
In Version 5.0 of Google’s quality guidelines, which I report on over at Search Engine Watch this week, the document introduces language around expertise, authority and trust — “E-A-T”. And while quality content has always been a demonstration and culmination of E-A-T, Version 5.0 gives more insight into how Google deciphers high quality and low quality using E-A-T.
I encourage you to read the post over at Search Engine Watch, along with this article I wrote for BruceClay.com when the first version of the manual was leaked in 2012. With those articles, you’ll see clear directives on how to create a site with great content and a great experience that reflects the authority of a brand — a website you can stand behind.
Remember, who creates your content, how it’s created and what type of reputation your brand builds with its online communications is important for the user experience, your marketing and business goals, and, it’s important to Google, too.
That’s because Google’s search engine is a product. And, Google wants to be sure its product (the search engine and its search results) is quality. That’s where things like Google’s Panda algorithm comes into play, and where Google’s search quality team steps in with documents like the quality guidelines.
In a future post, I’ll unpack more concepts behind Google quality guidelines in Version 5.0 of the search quality manual, and how they relate to the content you create as part of your marketing plan.