Google is committed to giving internet users the best possible search experiences, which means weeding out domains that do not provide valuable online content and giving more visibility to sites with high-quality content. Need (more) proof that content fuels SEO? Post Panda, post Penguin the leading search engine is still going out of its way to remind marketers that only high-quality content drives search success.
In the latest Webmaster Help Channel video, Search Engineer Matt Cutts says Google will take action against domains creating automatically generated content for SEO because this is bad for user experience.
Cutts speaks specifically about sites generating blank pages or spammy lists in response to search queries. Take, for instance, a domain that has optimized for they keyword “Toledo florist,” but actually contains no information about flowers in the area. It might be a site about something completely unrelated, like enterprise printing, but used SEO practices to rank for the term because it receives a high volume of search traffic. When users reach these pages, they often see a warning that says there are “no results for TOLEDO FLORIST” on the site and are then forced to return to SERPs to find an alternative.
Cutts elaborates that any domain containing content in a way that resembles SERPs, rather than a well-designed site that guides them to relevant content- may be punished because users don’t like combing through more links to find the information they want.
This is yet another move on the search engine indicating user experience (UX) is becoming more important. A recent Brafton video explains site speed is another crucial ranking signal in a search engine marketing world where UX could surpass SEO in SERP domination.
Marketers must continue the momentum they gained following the Panda and Penguin algorithm releases and create strategies that reflect the search engine’s evolving UX priorities. Ultimately, these changes may prove beneficial. Rather than combing a page for SEO value, they must evaluate navigation, relevance, usability and value – considerations that have always been in marketers’ wheelhouses.