Rating the Quality of the Main Content

The Main Content is the reason the page exists, and rating the quality of the MC is the most important step in PQ rating. You must think about the purpose of the page in order to evaluate the MC. High or highest quality MC allows the page to achieve its purpose in a highly satisfying way. Understanding the purpose of the page is extremely important for rating the quality of the MC. (Remember that all your rating must be done in the context of the purpose of the page.)

For each page, spend a few minutes examining the MC. Read the article, watch the video, examine the pictures, play with the calculator or online game, etc. Remember - MC also includes page features and functionality, so test the page out. For example, if the page is a product page on a store website, put at least one product in the cart to make sure the page and the shopping cart are functioning.
If there is a lot of content, give yourself a few minutes to browse through the MC on the page. Then assign a rating to the quality of the MC:

• no main content

• lowest

• low

• medium

• high

• highest
The purpose of the page will help you determine what high quality content means. For example, high or highest quality encyclopedia articles should be accurate, clearly written, and comprehensive. High or highest quality shopping content should help you find the products you want, research the products thoroughly, and make purchasing the products easy. High or highest quality humor content should be entertaining.

For all pages and all purposes, creating high quality MC takes a significant amount of at least one of the following: time, effort, expertise, and/or talent.

High or Highest Quality Main Content
Let's consider various types of pages and purposes and what is needed to create high or highest quality Main Content.

Medical Pages. Many medical pages exist to inform people on diseases and conditions. Highest quality medical content is written by people or organizations with medical accreditation (i.e., with professional expertise). The text and other content is written or produced in a professional style and is edited, reviewed, and updated on a regular basis, i.e., the content involves a high degree of time and effort to create and maintain. Medical pages are YMYL pages.

Hobby Pages. Many people create pages to share information about their hobbies. Here, time and effort as well as expertise and possibly talent are important. The highest quality content is produced by those with a lot of knowledge and experience who then spend time and effort creating content to share with others who have similar interests. For example, fish aquarium enthusiasts have created some of the highest quality content on the web about how to set up and take care of a fish tank.

Social Networking Pages. Social networking pages for individuals exist to allow people to connect socially and express their personality. Most pages are created by the person they are about, and so the creator of the page is an “expert”-- we are all experts on our own lives. High quality content on social networking sites is often the end result of a lot of time and effort. The content is frequently updated with lots of posts, social connections, comments by friends, links to cool stuff, etc. Social networking content with few or no updates and little engagement or little effort should be considered low quality.

Video Pages. Many people post videos on video sharing sites. The content of these videos varies, from home videos to documentary footage of events. Videos vary tremendously in quality as well. Time, effort, expertise, and often talent are needed to create a high or highest quality video.

Low or Lowest Quality Main Content

Main Content quality may be rated low or lowest for many different reasons. Often, the content is created without adequate time, effort, expertise, or talent.

Consider this. Most students have to write papers for high school or college. Many students take shortcuts to save time and effort by doing one or more of the following:

• Buying papers online or getting someone else to write for them.

• Making things up.

• Writing quickly with no drafts or editing.

• Filling the report with large distracting pictures.

• Copying the entire report from an encyclopedia, or paraphrasing content by changing words or sentence structure here and there.

• Filling up pages with completely obvious sentences that repeat the topic of the paper. ("Argentina is a country.

People live in Argentina. Argentina has borders. Some people like Argentina.")

• Using a lot of words to communicate only basic ideas or facts (“Pandas eat bamboo. Pandas eat a lot of bamboo. It’s the best food for a Panda bear.”)

Unfortunately, the content of many webpages is similarly created. When it is clear that the MC is created with deceptive intent and without putting in enough effort, time, expertise, or talent, please assign a low or lowest MC quality rating. Please note that copied or “scraped” content which is created with deceptive intent and very little time, effort, expertise, or talent violates the Quality Guidelines section of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines

Sometimes, time and effort were clearly involved when the page was created, but the content of the page does not allow the page to achieve its purpose. For example, expertise may be lacking on a topic for which expertise is really important. This content should be rated low or lowest.

Low or Lowest Quality Main Content Examples

Here are some examples of low or lowest quality MC. Many of the examples are articles. You may find it helpful to read the MC text out loud. Think about the quality of the MC as you read.

Type of Low or Lowest Quality MC

MC Quality Example


Very poorly written content

Low/Lowest MC 1

This content has many problems: poor spelling and grammar, complete lack of editing, inaccurate information, and no citing of sources of facts.

A lot of text but little actual information

Low/Lowest MC 2

Many of the sentences in this example are either meaningless or state something obvious. For example: "Popping pimples could be or could be not the new trend of getting rid of them."

Commonly known information only

Low/Lowest MC 3

Most people already understand how to put on a hat. This content is commonly known information: “Turn the hat upside down. Pick up the hat you want to put on with both hands. Grasp the hat from the bottom.”

Commonly available content on non- authoritative source

Low/Lowest MC 4

While the text in this example is not copied word-for-word from a source we would consider original, many sources list these exact same techniques. Very little effort and no obvious expertise have gone into this particular example. And this is a topic where expertise/authoritative sources are important. This is a YMYL page.

Non-authoritative/ untrustworthy author or website

Low/Lowest MC 5

The level of expertise of the author of this content is not clearly communicated. Providing this background information is particularly important for medical, financial, or other subjects for which expertise is needed. This is a YMYL page.

Type of Low or Lowest Quality MC

MC Quality Example


Auto-generated MC

Low/Lowest MC 6

For auto-generated content, a basic template is designed from which hundreds or thousands of pages are created, sometimes by using an RSS feed or API. This particular page displays text (in the red box) explaining that the page is auto- generated. Auto-generated content should be rated lowest quality.

Machine-generated text that has no meaning at all

Low/Lowest MC 7

This example is a page with random copied or gibberish text.

No MC at all, by deliberate design

Low/Lowest MC 8

Some pages have errors causing there to be no MC. Other pages intentionally have no MC. If the page has no MC, use the "no main content" rating. This is an example of a page that deliberately has no Main Content (the part that looks like MC is actually Ads). Note that this page is deceptive as well, since the title of the page is “chickenrecipes.com,” but the only content is Ads designed to look like a list of recipes.

Lowest Quality Main Content Examples- Copied, Scraped, or Paraphrased Content

Reminder: Some lowest quality MC pages contain only copied or “scraped” content and were created with deceptive intent. This is a violation of the Quality Guidelines section of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
. Copied content should be considered lowest quality MC.

Copied content may be:

• Copied exactly from an identifiable source. Sometimes a complete article is copied. Sometimes just parts of the article are copied. Text that has been copied exactly is usually the easiest type of copied content to identify.

• Paraphrased slightly, making it difficult to find the exact matching original source. Sometimes just a few words are changed. Sometimes whole sentences are changed. Because of the changes, this type of copied content is harder to identify.

See Section 10.5 for information on how to check for copied content.

Some copied content pages get all of their content by making a copy of results from a search engine or news source. Because these are copies of “dynamic” pages that change frequently, you often will not be able to find an exact matching original source.

Type of Copied MC


Copied Content Example

Original Source of the Content

The MC consists primarily of content copied from another source.

All of the MC is copied.

MC Quality - Copied 1

MC Original Source 1

Most of the MC is copied.

MC Quality - Copied 2

MC Original Source 2

Sometimes, we feel very sure that the content is copied, but we are unable to find the original source because it no longer exists.

MC Quality - Copied 3

The original appears to no longer exist.

The MC consists of just RSS feeds, news feeds, or a copy of results from a search engine.

No effort has gone into creating this page. All content comes directly from “feeds” from other sites.

MC Quality - Copied 4

RSS feeds, news feeds, search engine results.

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