The primary task and the main difficulty for an SEO specialist is to identify low-quality pages.
So, Google has some ideas about what constitutes high and low quality pages. Some factors are obvious, and almost everyone is familiar with them, while others are more intriguing. Let's look at them in more detail.
For example, a user wants to search for “pressure washing”. He types “pressure wash”, and Google immediately offers him a certain page.
The user follows the link and stays on the page, and then returns to Google and types a completely different keyword. After that, he visits another site, opens an email. All this tells Google that the page has responded to the user's request.
If the user had visited the page, saw that it was of poor quality, returned to the search results and selected a different website, then Google concludes that the page could not respond to the user's request.
If this happens frequently, then Google calls this activity "pogo-sticking".
This term implies that a user visits one page, it does not respond to his request, then he visits another page and gets what he needs. At the same time, there is a high probability that the result that did not satisfy the user will be lowered in the SERP, because it is perceived by Google as low-quality.
This list is not exhaustive. But these are some factors, evaluating which Google makes a conclusion about the quality of pages.
To do this, you can use the process described below. We don't have information about each of the components that Google can evaluate. However, we can analyze a number of aspects that can help identify low-quality pages and decide what to do with them next, delete or improve.
In general, it is not necessary to focus on such indicators as:
A long time on the site may show that the user is very involved in interacting with its content, but this indicator may also indicate that the user simply cannot find what he needs. In the second case, a person can return to the search results and select another result that will quickly respond to his request.
Perhaps there are a lot of pop-ups on your site, users cannot immediately find the “X” button to close the window, and are forced to scroll down the page. Therefore, they are unhappy with the search result.
The bounce rate works similarly. A high bounce rate can be a positive thing if you quickly respond to a very simple request, or the next step involves moving to another location, and this step cannot be performed on this resource.
In this case, the bounce rate can reach 80-90% despite the fact that the page responds to the user's request.
So the website does what Google wants it to do. Accordingly, the bounce rate is an uninformative metric.
A low-quality page may, for one reason or another, receive a noticeable amount of organic traffic, even if its content does not match the user's request. This can happen if it is still ranked high by long tail keywords.
This option is a little better in the long run: returning to the analysis of this page after a few weeks or months, you will be able to get a more realistic idea of its effectiveness. However, this does not eliminate the fact that the page is of low quality.
Associated conversions are another great example. For example, page visitors are not converted.
This can be considered as an opportunity to refuse the collection of cookies, launch remarketing or invite users to subscribe to an email newsletter. The fact that they are not converted immediately does not mean that the page contains low-quality content.
When evaluating the quality of pages, focus on a combination of metrics. It can be a combination of metrics:
If the user, after going to the page, begins to navigate through other pages of the site, this is a good sign. If the viewing depth is very low, this is an alarming sign. However, this indicator should not be considered in isolation from other metrics. This data needs to be analyzed in combination with indicators of time spent on the site, bounce rates, the total number of clicks and external clicks.
You can combine several offsite metrics. For example:
Here you can look at indicators such as the credibility of the page and the number of reposts on social networks: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you see that a certain page receives a large number of reposts, then it is most likely a high-quality page, even if it does not meet the needs of users performing a search.
You can analyze the following indicators:
Pages from subsections and subdomains – do they help users making a search? How relevant is their content, is it outdated? Does the content of these pages meet the standards of the organization?