The latest episode of Google's Search Off the Record podcast provides fascinating insights into how quality plays a crucial role across Search. From crawl scheduling to indexing decisions, quality is the main driver.
Quality and Google Search
In the podcast, John Mueller and Gary Illyes from Google's search relations team dive into quality's complex, far-reaching effects on Search. While it's commonly known quality is key for rankings, the discussion reveals quality also heavily influences:
Crawl prioritization - Higher quality pages get crawled first as Google predicts they offer more value.
Index inclusion - Low quality pages may not get indexed at all if Google determines they won't be useful.
Indexing budget - URL patterns with consistently low quality content may get limited indexing budget.
Future crawl frequency - Unchanging legal pages get crawled less often than homepages.
Quality is a Primary Indexing and Crawl Factor
Illyes stresses quality is the primary factor in most Google indexing and crawl decisions. He dispels misconceptions like topics or change frequency being the main drivers.
Mueller shares an anecdote from his pre-Google days highlighting how crawl order worked years ago. All new links were crawled alphabetically back then.
Low Quality = Big Impact
The talk underscores that quality can vary across different sections of a site. For example, low quality user generated content areas may get restricted if impacting the rest of the site.
Illyes encourages improving existing content quality rather than endlessly creating more. For established sites, focusing on great new content is likely sufficient.
Google Search Factors
Overall, the intriguing discussion sheds light on how quality permeates almost all aspects of Google Search, even if it's not directly visible. The full talk is well worth a listen for SEOs looking to optimize sites comprehensively.