Defining “Quality Content” (and Why You Need It)

You don’t have to know much about SEO to know that you need quality content on your site. Quality content significantly impacts rankings, and while no search engine is giving away how their algorithm evaluates “quality,” tests done by a number of SEO researchers provides some clues.

Quality Content Is…

Because no search engine is revealing how their algorithm determines what is/is not quality content, there is no one definition and no one formula to follow to create it. Quality content can present itself in a number of ways, such as:

  • Long (like thousands and thousands of words long) informative pieces
  • Shorter but frequently updated content (like blogs, news stories, etc.)
  • Short video that hits “the sweet spot” (it was posted at the right place at the right time, and the end is another Internet cat meme)
  • Any combination of these

Not every site needs every type of quality content. In fact, part of what makes quality content for your site is creating content that will match your users’ search intent and provide information that keeps them on the page.

Short is Not Always So Sweet

Just as “you need quality content” is a tenet of SEO, so is the knowledge that Internet users don’t want to read. Seems paradoxical, right? Closer to the truth may actually be that Internet users don’t want to read useless stuff, but they will invest the time to further scan, read and click-through content that is relevant to their needs.

So, websites with minimal text trying to cater to non-reading viewers may actually be compromising their SEO performance. Quality content needs words—lots of them. The key is making any and all words on the page relevant to a specific topic and that topic relevant to your users’ search needs.

One word of caution: quality content must be original content. Indexing history will tell the search engines where content first resided, so if you found quality content on someone else’s site and copied it to yours (even if you got permission from the original author), that’s duplicate content, a penalty-worth search engine offense. Even original text that you wrote used on multiple pages can be deemed duplicate content. Quality content needs to be unique for each page.

Implied Keywords

Keywords will never be dead, but gone are the days where choice phrases used multiple times on a single page meant top rankings. Today’s search engine algorithms are so sophisticated, they read like humans. You don’t necessarily have to use the words your page is about on the page. In other words, keyword phrases may be implied by the rest of the content. Sure, explicit use of phrases you’d like to rank for will not hurt as long as they appear naturally.

Quality Content Courtesy of

Creating quality content may feel like hitting a moving target, but has sharpshooters. The key to creating quality content is to not game the system but to focus on what your target audience wants and needs. We do that for you when we first create your website and as needed to maintain your ranking performance.