Official: Google’s definition of a low quality website

A few days ago, we showed you Google’s definition of a quick quality page (based on Google’s recently published search quality rating guidelines). If your website has the elements of a high quality page, it will get better rankings.

If your website has the elements of a low quality page, chances are that your website won’t get ranked at all.

Google's definition of low quality websites

What defines a low quality website?

A low quality website is not the same as a spam website. According to Google’s quality guidelines, the following makes a low quality website:

  1. Low quality main content

    The quality of the content is determined by how much time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill have gone into the creation of the page.

    If the content of your website has been created automatically, or if it has been created by copying or scraping other sites, chances are that Google will flag your site as a low quality website.

    Ironically, Google’s own content solely consists of scraped, copied and automatically created content.

    The web page must also have enough content for the purpose of the page. For example, a few paragraphs on a broad topic such as the second world war is not enough for an encyclopedia article.

  2. Lack of expertise, authoritativeness, or trustworthiness

    To be considered trustworthy, some topics demand expertise for the content. For example, medical advice, legal advice, financial advice, etc. should come from authoritative sources in those fields.

    Even everyday topics, such as recipes and housecleaning, should come from those with experience and everyday expertise in order for the page to be trustworthy.

  3. Negative reputation

    Most businesses have some negative reviews, especially for customer service. Google requires manual website raters to read the details of negative reviews and low ratings before inferring that the business has a negative reputation.

  4. Unhelpful or distracting supplementary content, poor page design

    If the main purpose of your website is to get clicks on the ads, your pages won’t get a high quality rating.

    If your page is functional for its purpose, it is okay if it looks like it was created in the 90s (although this is not recommended).

    If your web pages are designed to shift the user’s attention to the ads, or if the main content is difficult to read, the pages will get a low quality rating.

  5. Lacking care and maintenance

    Your website does not make a good impression if many links on your web pages are broken, if images do not load, and if the content feels stale or outdated. If you have a website with medical information, legal information, tax information, etc. then you must update it frequently because users expect information about the most current medical thinking, current laws, this year’s tax information, etc.

    It depends on the purpose of your website. A year without updates for a personal photo website is okay, several days without updates on a major news website are not okay.

Low quality websites do not get high rankings on Google. There is no fast track to high rankings. Make sure that your web pages contain all of the elements that Google requires. The tools in our Internet marketing tool SEOprofiler help you to do that:

Improve your website with SEOprofiler

Johannes Selbach

Johannes Selbach is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at "".