A couple weeks ago, I shared my thoughts on why it is important to put your site through a RQS Performance Grader exercise. After that post, I received a number of questions asking what the “R” stands for so I decided to explain.
RQS = Relevancy & Quality Score
Relevancy is a term we use to discuss the organic performance of a website. The most common question we get in regards to SEO is “how does Google’s algorithm work?” This is obviously asked as a means to calculate the best hacks to beat the system. We simply encourage our clients to stay relevant. For an artist to stay relevant, they must continuously push out new music, stay engaged with fans and even collaborate with other names in the industry. The longer they go without doing one of those 3 things the less relevant they become. And soon enough, they’ve fallen off the charts. It’s no different with SEO.
The truth is Google has hundreds of factors that go into the algorithm and nobody knows every ingredient in the recipe. However Andrey Lipattsev, Google’s Search Quality Senior Strategist, gave us a hint into the top 3:
Success in life is often based on focusing upon things you can control while not wasting resources on the things you can’t. We can’t control the algorithm. You can’t manipulate the algorithm but you can start chipping away at ingredients 1 & 2 by dedicating 15-20 hours per month to start. You can push out good content in the form of blog posts or articles. You can reach out to other authority sites in your industry and ask them to link up. (shameless plug: you can also have us do this for you) This is all possible if you have the time.
The 3rd ingredient throws people for a loop. What exactly is RankBrain? It’s complicated. I often explain it as the Artificial Intelligence instrument Google uses to turn words or communication into mathematical input. In other words, it is how Google converts language into the digital algorithm in order to line up the best search results. While Google hasn’t gone this far in their explanation, I believe this is the key tool used to evaluate “human” intent. After all, isn’t AI all about humanizing the digital world? I believe this is how google takes your search query for the keyword “pizza” and knows whether to show you results containing local delivery options, restaurants nearby, recipes or pizza ovens for sale. You can read a bit more about it here.
As a small business owner, you have less control over RankBrain but you have 100% control over Content and Links. Both of these will affect your Relevancy. You can access important insight into where you currently stand by requesting a RQS Performance Grade for your website here.