Signals of Quality vs. Good SEO

Last month, I wrote about a discussion on an episode of This Week in Google (TWiG) featuring Google’s Matt Cutts. I noted that Cutts seemed to say that Google was aware of the rise of so-called content farms like Demand Media and that it would adjust its search algorithm so that low-quality commodity content didn’t overwhelm better material.

The following week, TWiG host Leo Laporte cited my article at the start of an expanded discussion of Google’s intent regarding content farms. In the clip from the episode below, Jeff Jarvis speculates that Google will “try to get more links to original content . . . and have signals of quality.”

What that means, he said, is that “if all you do is rewrite the 87th page about how to fix your toilet,” no matter how great your search engine optimization, you shouldn’t rise up in the search results. Instead, “Bob Vila’s original masterpiece about fixing toilets should rise up because it’s original and high quality.”

As Jarvis suggested, Google isn’t directing this effort against Demand Media or other content producers per se. Rather, it’s trying to ensure that quality content always rises to the top, regardless of who creates it and what SEO tactics are used. In other words, it’s pretty much business as usual for Google.

The entire episode can be viewed at