Quality is a Principal Factor for Google Indexing

According to a discussion in a recent podcast, high-quality content is a fundamental factor affecting Google’s decisions regarding indexing and crawling.

In this context:

  • Quality influences everything in search, especially indexing.
  • However, high-quality content does not guarantee a high ranking.
  • Removing low-quality content can help improve Google’s perception of a site.

During the conversation, it was revealed that Google’s crawl scheduler uses quality signals to determine the priority of URLs for crawling. If Google knows it has X number of URLs to crawl from a site, it attempts to create an ordered list based on their anticipated quality.

A site’s quality can influence the crawling process, even for new websites. For instance, if a new page is discovered through Sitemap files, Google will assess the quality of the previously crawled homepage to decide whether to crawl the new page.

Gary Illyes explained that quality could be specific to different parts of a website.

For example, if one section of a site consistently provides high-quality content, it might be treated differently compared to another section known for lower-quality content. On the other hand, if certain parts of a site consistently contain low-quality content, these areas might be crawled less frequently.

User Generated Content (UGC) was cited as an example, the quality of which can vary. If a trend towards lower-quality content is detected in the user-generated content section, it could affect Google’s crawling behavior for that specific part of the site.

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Gary Illyes assured listeners that they could enhance the quality of their site, even if it previously contained low-quality content. He encourages site owners to remove subpar content to improve the remainder of the site. Eliminating poor-quality content can enhance Google’s perception of a site, influencing how Google crawls and indexes the remaining pages.

Although content quality alone does not guarantee a high ranking, allocating resources to create valuable, unique content is likely to boost a site’s search position.