Google’s Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller has urged webmasters to create great content rather than focusing on technically well-optimised sites as the former plays a greater role in improving search engine rankings.
During a recent Google Webmaster Central session, Mueller responded to a site owner who said that their pages had “zero issues” and provided an exemplary user experience, but that their technical prowess had not had a positive impact on their position in Google SERPs.
Mueller said that a laser focus on technical details can often lead to brands forgetting about the bigger picture. He said that it is much more important to ensure that pages are relevant to users, and that engaging content is the best way to achieve this aim.
Mueller added: “Another thing to keep in mind is that just because something is technically correct doesn’t mean that it’s relevant to users in the search results. That doesn’t mean that it will rank high. So if you clean up your website, and you fix all of the issues, for example, if your website contains lots of terrible content then it still won’t rank that high.”
He urged brands to fix “critical” technical issues and then shift their focus to solving users’ problems. He also said that competition who have been able to publish excellent content regularly are likely to have a head start, so it is important to look beyond technical elements as soon as possible.
Mueller also said that Google may move content to its mobile-first index even if it is not “mobile usable” as the two are “completely separate”.