Robert_Charlton - 9:07 am on Mar 22, 2012 (gmt 0)
Just to provide a point of orientation... for those who don't know, the Google comments mentioned above are from an article by Amit Singhal, from the Official Google Webmaster Central blog, and it was released about a year ago, in the early days of Panda....
More guidance on building high-quality sites
Friday, May 06, 2011
Singhal's list of questions in the blog post covered a great many considerations beyond text content quality that Google was going to be considering. It was, IMO, intended to help the average webmaster without giving away the secret sauce.
Google is now looking at a whole range of signals... a combination of traditional algorithmic and ever-more sophisticated semantic factors to determine relevance and content "depth"... along with measures of user engagement, linking and social signals, site performance, presentation, company reputation, etc. It's much more a "real world" list of factors than those considered by earlier link and keyword-based algorithms that many SEOs are used to (and apparently some are still yearning for).
With regard to content quality, one of the factors Singhal suggests we look at is one I've been suggesting to clients for years when they consider how good their content needs to be, and to me it's very clear....
Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
By this measure, the machine-written content Sgt_Kickaxe cites above (while fascinating in itself and impressive for a machine), may appear to be adequate filler for some pages on a site, but I don't think it's going to move anyone up in Google's rankings.
In competitive areas, content now has to be genuinely worth reading, so good that it's compelling. Ad layouts can't be greedy or intended to trick the user. Design has to be attractive, clean, and distinctive. Promotion has to involve customers, not just link partners.
I'm not sure where this leaves the ordinary mortal who doesn't have a design department and a staff of writers, or the tech wiz who simply isn't very good with words... but I do know that those whose sites have fallen way down in Google and aren't paying attention to why are simply not going to come back.
Complaining isn't going to change things... it's simply going to keep you from doing whatever really needs to be done. I'd say that if you don't get what Singhal's list is saying, keep re-reading it until you do.