Google loves websites that regularly add unique content. This hold true, even with hundreds of other metrics used to determine if a webpage appears at the top of Google’s search results. The bottom line is that a website’s content is still an extremely important factor in search engine optimisation that impacts rankings. However, why does Google continue to place such emphasis on text with numerous other metrics available to gauge the relevancy of webpage?
People Still Love to Read
The web certainly traversed many different paths before reaching its current form. Back in the stone ages, pages on the internet contained primarily text. Later, web developers started to add graphics and over time the web reached a point where certain sites contained little more than pictures. However, Google learned many important lessons throughout this evolutionary journey. One of these lessons is that people still love to read. This holds true even in an era where people are bombarded with images around every corner and click of a mouse.
Google understands the majority of people using its search engine are seeking knowledge (whether looking for Justin Bieber’s favourite colour or Einstein's theory of relativity). Sometimes images or other forms of content can do an excellent job of depicting that information. However, in the vast majority of cases, paragraphs of text trump a collage of pictures. There are numerous reasons this is the case. One factor is that most people can quickly garner information from a few lines of text faster than from other mediums. Thus, even with all the latest advancements on the web and changes with search engine optimisation, people still love to read.
Creating Compelling Content is Not Easy
Another reason Google loves websites with content is that creating compelling copy is not an easy task. Writing a unique piece of text that people enjoy reading is difficult and thus makes it more difficult for search engine optimisation companies to massage the results displayed when a query is entered into Google. Oftentimes, even if content is well written, people may still end up uninterested, and move onto another page of the web. Google can differentiate between websites with content people read and share with others versus those with text hardly anyone reads.
Almost every webmaster attempts to find shortcuts to achieve top search rankings; this is simple human nature. Unfortunately for webmasters, there is no quick and easy method to create interesting content. Rather, webmasters must spend time and energy developing content and hope that visitors are genuinely interested in reading the material created. Google can relatively simply separate websites whose owners take the time to write compelling copy and those that elect otherwise. Since quality copy is difficult to fabricate it serves as another reason Google loves content.
Easier for Google to Understand
Google is certainly capable of understanding information that is not in plain text format. A quick visit to YouTube reveals that Google can translate most audio content within a video into text via closed captions. Google is also capable of determining the text within an image file. Nonetheless, the search engine’s algorithms still prefer actual text versus other types of media. Google confirms this premise in a recent post on their blog with a section entitled “Help Google Understand Images”. This is preceded by advising webmasters to “Put important information in text rather than images”. Thus using text is preferred even though Google can read content within images. One can therefore surmise that Google prefers pages that are easier to understand compared to those that do not contain text describing the elements of a webpage.
There are many other reasons that Google loves content. However, these are three important reasons that make for nice fodder at a cocktail party. The next time a discussion occurs, where people make reference to Google no longer caring much about text, anyone who read this content can now interject with a few salient and indisputable points.
Slight Edits on 15/04/2013