By Kaitie Frank
05 Dec 2023

How Does Google Define Quality Content?

Content Creation     Content Marketing     SEO Strategy

Blog Images (17)

Quality content has been the battle cry of the SEO world for years. Google has repeatedly emphasized that quality content is the key to higher rankings, which means the more quality content you produce, the better your site will perform in the SERPs. 

However, the question remains: what exactly is quality content? While Google's Search Essentials provide some guidance, people often interpret things differently. You can find quick-fix strategies all over social media that claim to produce quality content. But are we overcomplicating things?

This article will explore what Google experts say about quality content and how you can create it.

How SEOs Define Quality Content

If you ask an SEO what quality content is, they would dutifully spout E-E-A-T guidelines. The industry uses these guidelines to create content that they believe will rank well:

  • Experience: Does the content demonstrate first-hand or life experience on the topic?
  • Expertise: Is your content author well-established, and do they have the relevant expertise on the topic?
  • Authoritativeness: Is your site a go-to trusted source for this topic?
  • Trustworthiness: Is your content accurate, correctly attributed, and sourced?

SEOs may also tell you that other attributes of quality content include: 

  • Word count
  • Readability
  • Searcher intent
  • Optimization

These guidelines and attributes focus heavily on specific text qualities. However, Google experts offer a much broader concept that goes beyond the text to the site as a whole.

What Google Actually Says & What It Means

During a Google SEO Office-Hours Hangout, John Mueller defined quality content in a way that surprised many SEOs. Mueller stated, 

“When it comes to the quality of the content, we don’t mean like just the text of your articles. It’s really the quality of your overall website. And that includes everything from the layout to the design. Like, how you have things presented on your pages, how you integrate images, how you work with speed, all of those factors they kind of come into play there.”

It turns out that Google doesn’t just look at the text on the page. Instead, Google looks at the page as a whole to determine content quality, looking at aspects such as:

  • Images
  • Load speed
  • Site structure
  • Design

In relation to this revelation, Google Search Liason Danny Sullivan enlightened SEOs at BrightonSEO 2023, saying,

“There is no one thing that Google looks at to rank your content. Instead, Google looks at your behavior as a whole. So, if someone recommends ‘the one thing you need to do to rank,’ it should raise red flags.”

What can we learn from this? Simply writing quality content is not enough. Google looks at the page and, on a bigger scale, the site as a whole to determine quality content. 

Google values user experience (UX) so much that it made it a ranking factor. SEOs should prioritize improving their site's UX to enhance their content. Even if your content is great, if it's not easily accessible, it may not rank well. Therefore, focusing on content quality and UX is important to maximize your ranking potential.

Elements of Quality Content According to Google

Unfortunately, there is no magic recipe to create quality content. However, we can understand the characteristics of quality content by examining Google Search Essentials. In their Creating Helpful Content section, they explain through a series of questions that content should be:

  • Original 
  • Valuable
  • Comprehensive
  • Insightful
  • Well-produced
  • Free of spelling and grammar errors
  • Void of click-bait

To improve the quality of their content, creators should focus on the following aspects:

  1. Expertise: Brands can establish a trustworthy reputation by demonstrating their expertise throughout their website.
  2. Page Experience: Google rewards content with a good page experience.
  3. People-First Content: Creators should prioritize creating content tailored to their audience, emphasizing first-hand expertise and depth of knowledge.
  4. E-E-A-T: Google’s ranking systems use these guidelines to evaluate content. Among these guidelines, trust is the most crucial factor.

It is clear that Google values UX as a crucial element of quality content. Each attribute contributes to a searcher's experience of the content, including page experience.

It's important to remember that not all content needs to have every attribute that Google recommends. For instance, one article on your website may showcase expertise, such as a page that defines a term, while another may focus more on experience, like a success story from a client. This is perfectly acceptable as long as both pieces of content are helpful to your audience.

Tips on Improving Content Quality

During our years as a link building and content creation agency, we’ve compiled a list of tips that help improve the quality of content. These tips include:


  • Use mixed media, such as images and videos, to make your content more engaging and easier to understand.
  • Link to other relevant pages on your website to distribute page authority and keep users engaged.
  • Post fresh content regularly to keep your audience interested and encourage search engines to crawl your website more often.
  • Write effective meta descriptions to entice readers to click on your pages.
  • Review your SEO data and analytics regularly to understand what's working and what's not.
  • Keep an eye on emerging trends, such as voice search, and optimize your content accordingly.
  • Create evergreen content that will remain relevant and attract traffic long after publication.

Creating quality content is about more than just following guidelines or focusing on specific text qualities. It's about understanding what Google values and prioritizing the user experience. By demonstrating expertise, providing a good page experience, creating people-first content, and following E-A-T guidelines, you can improve the quality of your content and maximize your ranking potential. Remember, quality content takes time and effort, but it's ultimately worth it.

Kaitie Frank

Kaitie is a copywriter and content writer for Page One Power who specializes in SEO-optimized content. She has written for various niches and prides herself in knowing random tidbits of information. In addition to putting words to paper, she indulges in physical fitness and telling her cat why he is, in fact, a good boy.