When I was working at Forrester Research, each publication had a designated content editor whom we jokingly referred to as “the ultimate arbiter of good taste“: he or she had the final word on what deserved publishing and what did not.
Here are a few sample questions:
• Would you trust the information presented in this article?
• Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
• Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
• Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
• How much quality control is done on content?
• Does the article describe both sides of a story?
No doubt that a site that meets all 24 criteria is an informative, creative, authoritative, carefully crafted site.
It’s hard to imagine how Google could objectively and meaningfully check which sites meet these criteria and, hence, deserve a good index rank. But Google has no other choice if it wants to stop the surge of spam sites that plague the Web with meaningless, purely indexation-driven content.
Thus, one could say that Google is the de facto arbiter of good taste online.