Since the Panda Debacle there’s been a lot of talk about low-quality content and what you need to do to fix it. But most of that talk has centered around new content creation, what you need to do with your next blog post – how to be engaging, how to give your readers what they need, how to write well. But, until now, nobody’s really defined ‘low-quality’ specifically. And certainly no one’s suggested that you delete half your blog!
If you’re serious about making money with your blog then you know that you have to treat it like a business. And no matter how much you’d like to, you really can’t bury your head in the sand and ignore The Big G if you want your online business to be successful. More than 80% of Internet searches go through Google, so when Matt Cutts says ‘Jump!‘ your only response should be ‘How high?‘ Well, Matt Cutts has defined ‘low-quality‘ content and he’s suggesting you either fix it or delete it. Now what?
Here’s How Google Defines Low-Quality Content
Your definition of quality may differ from Google’s but it’s Google’s definition that counts. You can find a more complete run-down at Google Webmaster Central, but here are a few indicators that Google uses to judge your content. Pretend you’re a searcher reading your own blog and ask yourself:
Would you trust this content? Is it informative, well-researched and does it answer your question completely? Does it sound like it was written by someone who’s in authority, who has first-hand experience with the subject?
Is there a lot of similar content where the information is the same and only the keywords have been changed? Is the information seasonal or out-dated? Is the content original, well-researched and would you share it with a friend?
Has the content been editing for easy reading, spelling errors and grammar usage? Does this look like something you’d see in a magazine or newspaper?
Do you trust the site? Would you give this site your credit card information? Is the page cluttered with ads? How would you rate this site with similar site you’d find in the search results?
What Can You Do To Fix Low-Quality Content?
According to that same Google blog post, low-quality content on any part of your site can impact the ranking of your whole site. So one bad apple really can spoil the whole bunch, at least as far as Google is concerned. So what can you do to fix it? Well, you can always delete it. But don’t panic yet. Let’s take this one step at a time.
Identify The Low-Quality Content
The first step is to find the poor performers on your blog and that’s going to take a little work. You can probably pick out the glaring problems yourself, without even doing any research. But for the most part, you’ll have to take a look at each page of content and look at the stats.
Look for pages that have the fewest incoming links and clicks to find your low-performers. You’ll have to use your blog’s total traffic figures to determine which are the poorest performers. For example, if your blog typically has 3000 visitors per month and you see a post that’s only had 10 clicks in the past 4 to 6 weeks, then it’s a candidate for consideration.
How To Fix Your Low-Quality Content
You really only have two alternatives. You can combine posts and pages to produce a better quality article or you can delete it altogether. The choice is yours.
Obviously, combining content would be less painful. Of course, you don’t want to just paste one article onto the end of another. Take time to re-write your content so it’s actually high-quality content this time around.
However, if you have a lot of really poor content, maybe it’s time to make a clean sweep and start all over again. Sometimes, the only way to get a good look at the forest is to get rid of some of the trees.
The truth hurts, but maybe this exercise isn’t such a bad idea. If you’re not seeing any traffic, and you’re not making any income with your blog, then maybe it’s because you have low-quality content and you don’t even realize it. Stand back and really look at each page of your blog. See what your visitors see and if you have low-quality content, this is the time to fix it, before you go any further.