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4 Elements of Good Content According to Google Search

Good content, above all else, is all about the story.That's according to new research from Google and Talk Shoppe, a research agency. Google wanted t

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Good content, above all else, is all about the story.

That’s according to new research from Google and Talk Shoppe, a research agency. Google wanted to know how viewers determine the quality of content.

Why do we care. While Google’s search results are geared toward visual content (specifically: YouTube), the general lessons can be applied to just about any type of content you create.

Good content has four elements:

1. Related. People want content that is relevant to their interests. But they also want content created by friendly content creators they can connect with.

  • Basic stats: 80% of people are more open to advertising or branded content when the content is relevant to them.

2. The intellectual. People want content that introduces them to new things. This includes brands.

What types of content? It can be an educational series, a how-to, or a product review.

  • Basic stats: 88% of people said YouTube has helped expand their horizons or ways of thinking.

Is this statistic inconsistent with the first statistic? Yes, at least in part. But the use of the word “intellectual” may be the problem.

Many people look for content that reinforces the things they already believe in, regardless of their “thought” level. That’s why there have been a lot of concerns over the past decade about filter bubbles and what participatory algorithms recommend.

3. Sensory. Good storytelling is all about the details. For video specifically, people said that “unique storytelling or production” can be more motivating than “cinematic quality.”

  • Basic stats: 94% of people said that good content tells a good story.
  • Another key statistic: 92% of them say that good content is produced with thought and effort.

What it means: The content doesn’t have to be perfect. But your content should always be original, informative/useful, have a purpose and tell a story.

4. Passionate. Most people want to experience content – something that makes them feel something – or even multiple emotions (although he fails to determine whether positive or negative emotions made a difference).

Bonus: If you can achieve this with your own content, it can help create a deeper connection with your audience. In other words, content that wins people’s hearts should translate into greater loyalty.

  • Basic stats: 85% of people said that good content makes them feel something emotional.

The whole story. You can view the search, which is created as a visual story, on Think With Google.

So is that all that makes good content? no. In fact, it really depends on who you ask.

For this research, Google asked consumers of content.

But ask someone on the SEO/marketing/builder side, metrics usually determine if something is ‘good’.

In other words, all that matters is how the content performs. Has your content been consumed or ignored?

To find out, we look at things like:

  • Number of page views
  • time per page
  • number of links
  • Organic vision / ranking
  • organic traffic
  • click rate
  • Post (comments and posts)
  • bounce rate
  • Create leads / complete tasks (eg add to cart, sign up, download content, book an appointment)

But we all know that not every piece of content works. Most of the content will not provide huge numbers. Perhaps you can think of the “good” content you’ve created that fails to achieve high numbers.

Does this mean the content is not good? No, it just means that the content failed.

Do you need help creating good content? Check out these resources:


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About the author

Danny Goodwin is Senior Editor at Search Engine Land. In addition to daily writing on SEO, PPC, and more about Search Engine Land, Goodwin also operates a roster of Search Engine Land experts in search. It also helps with programming for our SMX Conference Series – Search Marketing Expo. Prior to joining Search Engine Land, Goodwin served as Executive Editor at Search Engine Journal, where he led editorial initiatives for the brand. He was also an editor at Search Engine Watch. He has spoken at many major research conferences and virtual events, and his expertise is drawn from a wide range of publications and podcasts.

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