Matt Cutts on How Google Ranks the Quality of Content Without Links | Small Screen Producer Digital and Inbound Marketing Agency Houston

Head of Google’s search spam, Matt Cutts, answered the question about content ranking in the latest Webmaster Help video. A user asked:

How does Google determine quality content if there aren’t a lot of links to a post?

Matt explains that in the event where Google encounters content without many inbound links, content would be judged based on the text on the page. Matt gives a quick rundown of how this would work:

  • The first word that’s seen on the page would be counted more compared to the other words on the page.
  • The second time that same word appears on the page will be counted more (but not a whole lot more).
  • After a while, any additional instances where the word appears would signal to Google that the page is in fact about that particular topic.

Whoa, but wait a second. It won’t help to include the same keyword over and over again on a page. Overly including keywords in content is known as ‘keyword stuffing’ and is a bad SEO practice that would actually negatively impact the ranking of a page. Moderation is key.

Another way Google determines quality content without many links is seeing if the domain name is reputable or not. And if that page happens to have an obscure phrase that the user happens to be searching for and it’s one of a few pages that happens to include exact phrase, Google will refer that page to the user because it’s most relevant.

To hear what Matt has to say, view the full video below: