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Google’s John Mueller answered if it’s helpful to add more words to a web page to help it rank better. The idea was that if a page wasn’t ranking, adding more relevant content will help.Will Adding Relevant Content Help Rankings?
The person asking the question wanted Mueller’s opinion as to the efficacy of improving a web page by adding additional content that was relevant.
The person asking the question was unclear about what they meant by “relevant content,” which can mean different things. It boils down to whether the content is relevant to keywords or if the content is relevant to user intent or if the content is relevant to people.
There are a multitude of ways content can be relevant, with some versions of “relevance” being, in my opinion, more useful for ranking purposes than others.
Here’s the question:
“Let’s say I want to improve content on a page. I add as much relevant content as I can for the users.
Does this mean that when I add relevant text to the page, Google automatically assumes that the page is better?
Does it work out like that? Is more text better in the eyes of Google?”
The person asking the question related that those in charge are insisting that improving rankings is “as simple” as adding more text.Updating Content is Not a Simple Process
John Mueller began by stating that updating content is more nuanced than adding more content:
“It’s definitely not quite as simple as that.”Is Content Quality Linked to Word Count?
There is a common perception that quality articles are comprehensive. Because quality articles are comprehensive it follows that those articles are inherently longer.
How can an article be both comprehensive and not on the long side, right?
I see this quite often. Quality is often equated to comprehensiveness, which means a higher word count.
Google’s Mueller continued his answer by remarking on the idea of word count in the context of quality and ranking factors.
“From our point of view the number of words on a page is not a quality factor, not a ranking factor.
So just blindly adding more and more text to a page doesn’t make it better.”
Mueller next put the idea of content within the example of a book versus a brochure and what the user feels is useful to them.
“It’s a bit like if you want to present something to a client who’s walking in, you can give them a one or two page brochure or you can give them a giant book of information.
And in some cases people will want a book with a lot of information. And in other cases people want something short and sweet.
And that’s similar to search.
If you have the information that you need for indexing for …kind of making it so that users and Googlebot understands what this page us about, what you’re trying to achieve with it uh… in a short version then fine, keep a short version, you don’t need to make it longer.
Just blindly adding text to a page doesn’t make it better.”What About Thin Content?
Some people may say that thin content is an example of content that Google won’t rank because it’s too short.
But that’s not the case.
Thin content is commonly thought of as content that is short. A more precise definition is content that lacks usefulness. Factors that define thin content include more than how many words are on a page.Improving Articles for Better Rankings
Improving an article to hopefully improve the rankings can be somewhat complicated. It has nothing to do with word count and the following is an explanation.
First, you have to assess what the web page is about and if that web page fulfills the mission of communicating the information a site visitor wants.Improving Content that Lost Relevance
Sometimes an article fails because it’s not about what users mean when they search with a particular query. Also, what people mean when they search for something can change with time. In that scenario, that means a web page on a topic is no longer relevant to what a searcher is looking for because the meaning has changed.
A good example is someone searching for “movies to watch.” In the past that could mean movies to watch in the theater.
Today, during the pandemic, Google returns search results about what movies to stream at home.Screenshot of Search Result Showing How Rankings Align with User Intent
In the above example, someone’s web page about movies to watch in theaters will have lost traffic. What users mean when they use this query changed. The content creator must also pivot with the user to keep attracting traffic.
This example shows how updating content can have nothing to do with word count. It has to do with how the content is useful to users right now.
The reasons why content stops ranking can sometimes be teased out by identifying if the traffic gradually slowed down or if there was a definite date when the traffic dried up. These are data points that must be considered before drawing up a strategy of what to do to help an article rank better.
As John Mueller said, “…blindly adding text to a page doesn’t make it better.”
There has to be an explainable purpose to the content rewrite.Citation
Watch John Mueller answer question about content quality and rankings at about the 20 minute mark:
You're reading Google Says Word Count Not A Quality Factor
New Research Shows Key Ranking Factors for the UK
Recommended link: Search Metrics 2012 Ranking Factor Report
The volume of data and number crunching to form this guide is remarkable. It’s based on analysis of 10,000 selected top-keywords, 300,000 websites and millions of links, shares and tweets from within the Searchmetrics database.
It has been condensed well for a quick summary on SEO in the UK. The guide looks at the 6 trends / changes the research highlighted which are summarised in the diagram below.Marketing implications
While the report probably won’t show anything that most people will not have heard already it may hopefully spur you into action or debunk some of the SEO myths. I have summarised the 3 I believe are most important below, but you can see the full guide here.1. Time to be social
The research conducted by Searchmetrics suggests that activity in key social networks does influence search rankings. The research actually showed that Google+ was the most significant when it comes to influencing search rankings but it does not unfortunately have the volume yet to be at the core of your strategy. Facebook shares came a close second, in fact Facebook dominated the top 4 spots when it came to influence in SEO. Twitter behind all that. Ensure you have Facebook well integrated into your sites content as well as activity on your brand page is now more important than ever for SEO in the UK. You can find Facebook tools for your website here.2. Backlinks rule
This is definitely not new but the data suggests that nofollow links still influence ranking I think is fascinating. Volume of links and utilising keywords in anchor text are still overwhelmingly important. This new data coupled with the social data above I think should help us refocus our efforts on effective content & marketing should be our priority, we shouldn’t do things because it is “nofollowed” which I have heard so many times in the past. You can use these link analysis tools to analyse your backlink profile.3. Stop obsessing about on-page
In my line of work, I get asked a lot of questions about SEO and it seems on-page factors seem to stress a lot of marketers and copywriters out. Hopefully this research will put some peoples mind at rest. On-page factors have been superseded by backlinks for years, but this latest research goes as far as saying some on-page optimisation tips are just not worth the time and effort. Having keywords at the start of titles instead of middle or the end will have no impact whatsoever, length of content is irrelevant and pictures are no bad thing.
I think this is a little misleading though since this chart and the previous suggest the title isn’t important which is not the case. We still find that pages that include a title (particularly in a relevant phrase) will outrank those that don’t “all other factors being equal”.
I hope you find this interesting. It is worth noting that correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation, so what you find in your own experience is most important.
Google updated its Quality Rater Guidelines this week, which includes new information regarding the assessment of “low quality” and “lowest quality” pages.
Of all the changes made to the guidelines, the sections on page quality received the most significant updates.
Quality Rater Guidelines are a set of instructions that Google’s quality raters follow when manually evaluating the performance of Google’s algorithms.
So, in other words, if a rater were to analyze whether or not a piece of content is of “low quality,” they would refer to what is laid out in the Quality Rater Guidelines.
It’s important to know that quality raters cannot personally change how a page is ranked. Rather, they pass feedback onto those who write Google’s algorithms.
From there, an algorithm update may be pushed out which would then impact page rankings.How Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines Defines Low Quality Pages
According to Google’s updated Quality Rater Guidelines, low quality pages are those that miss the mark on what they set out to achieve.
This could be for one of two reasons. Either there is not enough main content (MC) to adequately satisfy the reader, or the content creator lacks expertise in the topic they’re writing about.
“Low quality pages may have been intended to serve a beneficial purpose. However, Low quality pages do not achieve their purpose well because they are lacking in an important dimension, such as having an unsatisfying amount of MC, or because the creator of the MC lacks expertise for the purpose of the page.”
The key difference between this revised definition of low quality pages, and the previous definition, is that quality should still be considered “low” even if there was a clear intention for the page to serve a beneficial purpose.
Quality Raters are instructed to rate a page as “Low” if any one or more of the following applies:
An inadequate level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
The quality of the MC is low.
There is an unsatisfying amount of MC for the purpose of the page.
The title of the MC is exaggerated or shocking.
The Ads or SC distracts from the MC.
There is an unsatisfying amount of website information or information about the creator of the MC for the purpose of the page (no good reason for anonymity).
A mildly negative reputation for a website or creator of the MC, based on extensive reputation research. If a page has multiple Low quality attributes, a rating lower than Low may be appropriate.
Google elaborates on this point, stating:
Here is a roundup of other notable changes that were made to the “Low Quality Pages” and “Lowest Quality Pages” sections.
Ads should now be considered distracting if they feature grotesque images.
Extensive research is required to evaluate the reputation of a content creator.
Identifying a content creator using a long-standing Internet alias or username is now acceptable.
A page is of “lowest” quality when the purpose of the page cannot be determined.
’Your Money, Your Life’ pages with no information about the content creator should be rated lowest.
Unmaintained websites should be rated lowest quality if they fail to achieve their purpose due to the lack of maintenance.
Pages that promote hate against groups of people based on socio-economic status, political beliefs, and victims of atrocities should be rated lowest.
Pages that promote mental, physical, or emotional harm to self or others should be rated lowest.
Content should be rated lowest if the creator has a negative or malicious reputation.
Pages that misinform users with “demonstrably inaccurate content” should be rated lowest.
The points listed above are all new additions to Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines.
For more information, see the full PDF document here.
Google’s John Mueller answered a question about a site that lost it’s rich results display and wanted to know why Google took them away and if the rich results would ever return.
The question was asked at the 52:26 minute mark of the Google After-hours hangout.
But because it was a two-part question, the answer wasn’t given to this second part until after John finished answering the first part. So the answer comes three minutes later at the 55:19 minute mark.Rich Results Removed After Site Redesign
There are many anecdotal reports of site redesigns that go bad, work out great or turn out neutral with no change in rankings.
This is a question about a site redesign that coincided with a loss of rich results.
They tested their schema markup to see if there was a technical problem but the markup passed all the tests.
It’s hard to fix something when you don’t know what is wrong, so the person asking the question just wants an idea of what direction they should go with this.Google’s John Mueller Discussing Rich Results
This is the question, part two of a two-part question:
“Another customer they just redesigned their website. It’s still the same CMS and content.
And after that, all of our FAQ schemas stopped being displayed in Google Search results.
And this is three months old now and we still are not there., even everything being passing on the rich results test and inspection tool.
Why did that happen and when should I expect to see FAQ being displayed again or if it will ever be?”
Related: Why Google May Remove a Site’s FAQ Rich ResultsLoss of Rich Results Might be Coincidental
John Mueller answered the question, at one point suggesting that it’s possible that changes on the site might not have caused the loss of rich results.
But he also mentions re-evaluating the site for quality.
John Mueller answered:
“I think there are two things that might have happened… It’s hard to say offhand.
One is that we might have re-evaluated the quality of your website overall at about the same time that you made those changes.
It’s probably more of a coincidence if that were the case.
But it could be that we kind of like are not that convinced about this website anymore.
And if we’re not convinced about the website, then usually we don’t show any rich results. And that would include the FAQs.”
Related: 12 Reasons Why Your Rich Snippets Aren’t ShowingSite Quality Can Affect Rich Results Eligibility
That is a useful insight, that something about a redesign could trigger a re-evaluation of site quality.
That’s something that is not widely known and can be useful for diagnosing why a rich result stopped showing.
Related: Google Offers a Definition of Quality ContentJohn Mueller Hack for Rich Results Quality Check
John next suggested a way to check if the rich results are missing because of a technical issue or because Google is “not convinced” about the site.
“So one way to kind of double-check that is if you do a site query for these individual pages, do the rich results show up there or not?
If they do show up there then that means technically we can recognize them but we don’t want to show them.
So that’s kind of a hint that maybe from a quality point of view you need to improve things.
If they don’t show up with a site query then that means more that there’s still something technical which is broken with regards to that.”
Related: Google’s John Mueller on Troubleshooting Rich ResultsThere is No Fixed Delay After a Redesign
After a site is redesigned, if everything otherwise stays the same then Google generally will crawl it like usual and there shouldn’t be a disruption if any, as the old site is gradually replaced in Google’s index by the new site.
Mueller finished his answer:
“So it’s not that there is a fixed delay, after restructuring of a website, for us to start showing them again.
It’s more like… maybe there was coincidentally weird timing or maybe there’s a technical issue.”
Regarding the site query test he suggested, Mueller cautioned that it’s not absolutely reliable.
“Yeah, it’s not 100% perfect. But it works for a lot of these cases when it comes to rich results.”
Related: How to Avoid SEO Disaster During a Website RedesignThe Site Query Hack
A site query is a search that looks like this:
It’s not every day that Mueller offers a convenient way to check what’s wrong with a site. Although he did say that it’s not 100% though.
The important takeaway is that site quality can be the reason why rich results don’t show on Google. What might be interesting is to check if the rich results show on Bing, because Bing also has rich results.
Related: An SEO Guide to Advanced Google Search OperatorsCitation Poor Site Quality Can Cause Rich Results Removal
Watch John Mueller provide reasons for losing rich results at the 55:19 minute mark (part of two-part question from 52:26 minute mark)
Last Updated on May 16, 2023
Word is arguably one of the easiest Microsoft programs to navigate, once you can get your head around the large amount of tools and basic design elements at your disposal; from creating resumes to adding shapes and lines.
In fact, as one of the staple tools of the program, it’s really important that you learn how to perform this function in Word.
Adding horizontal lines, or “horizontal rules”, to an email message or an entire document on the program can help to visually break up the on-screen content for easier viewing, and will also make the page far more visually appealing.
It might sound difficult, but it is actually quite an easy process. If that wasn’t enough, Word offers a lot of choice in terms of horizontal line options which makes for a convenient experience.
Use The Shapes Menu
Arguably the simplest way of adding a line to a Word document is to draw it directly onto the page. This is easy to do thanks to the Shapes drop-down menu that contains several line options, including those with arrow points on one or both ends.
Place Your Cursor
Place your cursor in the spot where you would like to insert a line.
Navigate Your Cursor
Select The Shapes
Select the Shapes drop-down menu.
Decide On Your Preferred Line Type
In the Lines section, decide on your preferred line type. There will be many options here for you to choose from.
Drag Your Cursor
Shape Format Tab
After you draw the line, customize the color and appearance. These options can be entirely customized in the drop-down list. Also, feel free to include horizontal or vertical lines in your Word document!
Use the Horizontal Line Tool
You could also use this easy method as a way to insert a horizontal line into your Word document. All you need to do is know how to use the built-in tool.
Place The Cursor
Place the cursor where you want to insert a horizontal line into your document.
Move The Cursor
Move the cursor to the Home tab and select it.
Select The Borders
In the Paragraph section, select the Borders drop-down menu and then select Horizontal Line.
Change The Look
Format Horizontal Line
In the Format Horizontal Line dialog box, feel free to modify the line’s width, height, color, and alignment so it fits with the content on your page.
By holding down the hyphen button, it’s super quick and easy to create a horizontal line in Microsoft Word. But there are other variations of the AutoFormat line to decide between.
After opening your document, place the cursor where you want to insert the horizontal line.
Type In Three Dashes
Type in three dashes and you will get a solid single line.
Type Three Underlines
Type three underlines and you’ll achieve a bold single line.
Three Equal Signs
Three equal signs will result in a double line.
Three asterisks means you will be able to add a heavy dotted line into your document.
Feel free to type more than 3 of each character as there isn’t a limit. As long as you have three symbols that begin at the left-hand margin, you’re good to go! The line will then be inserted for the full width of the page.
If you want to add some text above the line that you have just made in Word, all you need to do is place the cursor where you want the text and begin the typing process.
Note that the AutoFormat features will not be available in Office Online.Conclusion
The above methods for inserting a line in Word are simple enough that almost anyone can learn them quickly, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete beginner to using the program.
With so many shortcuts available, you’ll have a suitable line in your text in next to no time at all!
Last Updated on August 19, 2023
Microsoft Word can be used for many things. It’s not just a tool for writing documents.
If you’re willing to go a step further with it, you can create some really great documents that are quite appealing to the eye.
One of the features you can use in Microsoft Word is its horizontal lines.
While on the surface, this might seem a bit anticlimactic, it’s actually a really good feature for separating big bodies of text and overall, it just makes the document you’re writing easier to read.
But how do you add these lines in Microsoft Word? Well, read on to find out!
Insert A Line (The Fast Way)
There is actually more than one way you can insert a line in Microsoft Word. This option is by far the fastest way.
This method is called the AutoFormat feature. Certain characters in Microsoft Word are designed to be able to change into lines:
Put The Cursor On The Line
Put the cursor on the line where you want the horizontal line.
Type Three Of These Characters And Press Enter
Type three of these characters (picture below) and press Enter.
As soon as you press enter, the line will be added automatically and will look like whichever character you typed in three times.
The line extends to the full width of the page. If you have any columns you’re inserting the line to, it will match the width of the column rather than the page.
If you want to add any text above the line, just put the cursor above the line and begin typing.
This method is the quickest and easiest way to add a horizontal line to Microsoft Word.
Draw A Line
You can also draw lines in Word. They won’t look like the ones above, but if you’re looking to add a bit more flair to your document, try this method too:
Go To The Insert Tab
Decide What Location Of The Document You Want Your Lines To Be in
Decide what location of the document you want your lines to be in. Hold down on your mouse and drag the line there.
Inserting A Line Using Borders
This method lets you insert lines both horizontally and vertically using borders. This is another straightforward method, so just follow these steps:
Select The Paragraph
First, you want to select the paragraph where you want the line to be.
The Border Pattern Will Usually Be The Bottom Line On The Dropdown Menu
By default, the border pattern will usually be the bottom line on the dropdown menu. But don’t worry, you can change it.
Select The Arrow To Open The Dropdown Menu
On the Borders button, select the arrow to open the dropdown menu. You can now change the position of the line.
You Also Have The Option Of “Borders And Shading”
You also have the option of “Borders and Shading” which is at the bottom of the menu. Here you can change the width, color, height, or style of the line.Conclusion
Sometimes a huge wall of text can be quite daunting to begin reading, especially if there are lots of pages included in the document. But that’s why lines are such a great feature for you to use.
Adding lines to your document couldn’t be any easier. Microsoft Word generally likes to keep its features as simple and as accessible as possible, so you won’t have any trouble when it comes to adding your lines.
Play around and experiment with this feature to work out what’s best for your document.
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