Searchmetrics Glossary – The Dictionary of Search Engine Optimization and Content Marketing

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Content Relevance

Content Relevance is used to indicate how relevant a website is in relation to a particular search term or topic. The topic relevance is of utmost importance for search engine optimization. The basic message is: The better a text or the content of a page matches a search query, the more likely it is that it will achieve a good ranking. This means that Content Relevance can be considered as one of the ranking factors that Google uses for evaluating a website in its index.

Definition of the term “Content Relevance”

The term refers to how well the information on a website corresponds to a search query. Relevance criteria include content elements like the visible text, as well as images or videos. In addition, relevance can be generated through meta elements like title, meta description and alt tags.

Content Relevance differs from topical relevance insofar as it focuses on the meaning of the text on the website and is not primarily related to the links between websites.

What does Content Relevance mean for search engines?

For each search query, search engines assess which websites in their index are best able to meet the user requirements. To do this, algorithms evaluate how well the websites in the index match what the user is looking for. At the same time, the characteristics of the individual websites are also considered, like load time, technical specifications, link structure and, as we are discussing here, Content Relevance. These algorithm processes are what generates the rankings in the search results.

Generally speaking, relevance refers to the importance that an object is assigned. In the field of IT, the term relevance refers to the importance of a digital document regarding a search query. This can be applied both to simple search engines within websites and more complex search processes like web search.

Relevant texts are extremely important for search engines like Google. This is because the search results are supposed to match users’ different search queries as exactly as possible. The ultimate aim is a satisfying user experience. This game is not simply altruistic – because search providers are also commercial enterprises who are trying to generate revenue via paid advertisements on the search results pages. The closer the results match a search, the more trust users will have in the results, and by extension in the search engine itself.

Possible criteria for determining Content Relevance

There are various ways of looking at a website’s content, to judge how relevant it is for a given search query:

  • Content language: Providing content in the same language as the query is made is a prerequisite for relevance. To assign the content clearly to a language or region, it is possible to use the hreflang attribute.
  • Body text: This refers to how well the meaning of the text matches the search.
  • Page title: The page title can indicate the website’s main topic and thus form a criterion based on relevance.
  • Images and graphics: Visual material supports the text information and can increase the relevance.
  • Local aspect: In this case, it can be important to use terms that correspond to a certain region.

 

How does Searchmetrics calculate Content Relevance?

Searchmetrics also calculates Content Relevance – both for its Content Score in the Searchmetrics Content Experience and for ranking factor analyses.

The methods for measuring content relevance are based on, among other things, the use of linguistic corpora and the conceptualization of semantic relationships between words in the form as distances in the form of vectors. For the semantic evaluation of a text, this makes it possible to assess the keyword and the content separately from one another.

This provides the means to generate a score for entire texts, which expresses the relationship between the relevance of the text and the keyword or topic in question. The higher this relevance score is, the more relevant the content of the analyzed landing page can be considered for the related search query.

The importance of Content Relevance for search engine optimization

Content Relevance plays a decisive role in the on-page optimization element of search engine optimization. Improving how well content addresses targeted keywords is one of the main tasks of this part of SEO. Just adapting the content of an internet site, for example for a category or article, can improve the position of a keyword. It is in this context that the term “holistic” content is often used. Content of this nature covers all aspects of a topic and gives users clear added value, by providing solutions for the problems or questions behind their search query.

Content Relevance is an important ranking factor, but it is still just one of more than one hundred factors that search engines like Google use in their algorithms. It is the combination of all factors that is the basis for good positions in the search results.

A short example can be used to demonstrate this: The content of a website could be highly relevant to the topic, but if the page takes far too long to load and is not optimized for mobile, then it will probably still not be able to rank highly in the mobile SERPs.

How can I create relevance with my content?

Webmasters, SEOs, and editors can use targeted keyword research to identify which words are relevant for which search terms. Tools like Google Keyword Planner can be used to assist with this research. In addition, the significance of content can be increased by applying the formula WDF*IDF. This uses the best-ranking websites to determine which terms a document should contain in order to best correspond to a particular searched keyword. When producing content based on this research, the aim should not be to chain relevant words and word combinations together, but to address a whole topic holistically.

Additional benefits can also be created by appropriate use of images, videos or other “rich content”, provided this creates added value for users.