We all know that Google cares about web content, so we publish expert resources regularly and strive to keep up with the search engine’s ever-heightening quality standards. But why does Google grade us on our content (arguably) more than any other facet of our web presences? Survey results from the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) e-business report suggest that it’s because consumers consider it one of the most important parts of their search experiences.
The ACSI results show that Google has the highest customer satisfaction score out of all other search engines, including Bing, Yahoo, MSN and AOL. If that wasn’t enough – it’s widening the gap, increasing its satisfaction score 7.8 percent since last year, and taking a 10 percentage point lead over second-runner up, Bing.
A closer look at the data indicates that Google is pulling ahead because of its focus on great content and user experience, with algorithms like Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird at the helm.
Users rated content freshness as one of the top considerations in their search satisfaction, second only to site performance. Thus, Google makes online content recency a top ranking signal, and marketers have had to become publishers to give their brands top visibility.
The results from ACSI remind us that SEO is about the big picture. Users may find a site’s design gorgeous, but fail to convert if they can’t quickly find the information they want. Likewise, informative content itself may not be enough to overcome poor functionality.
There are numerous factors to consider when optimizing company websites for search results: Diverse information on the page, mobile-friendly web design, seamless navigation and functional video clips. But when all of these elements are working together, marketers should start to see satisfaction scores in the same range as Google’s and become equally as competitive with counterparts in their fields.
Check out this blog post for details on what Google looks for in fresh content.