I reckon some people are still smarting from accusations (real and imagined) that their writing is not up to standard.
Frankly, I wouldn't listen to anything anyone here (including staff) have to say on that subject. Just head into your Google analytics account and check the average read times for your articles.
If your readers are spending time on your pages then your writing is doing its job. If they are not spending time then perhaps some critical re-evaluation is needed.
For me, any page with a read time of five minutes and up is a success- a high percentage of people are reading the page to the end. These pages tend to ride high in the SERPs.
Three minutes seems to be OK- my pages with this kind of read time can still do well in the SERPs.
Any page below two minutes seems to be missing the mark and failing to deliver what readers want. Pages like this don't usually get many visitors.
So my advice is to see what pages get good read times and try to the learn the lessons of those successes. Then check out the underachieving pages and work out what the problem is.
I think five minutes and the rest is a good period for the believers and interested in what we write. if people read the read rate of less than five minutes was also said to be interested and would like to know also what is written. just a little. we need to learn from the experience of experts in writing. not necessarily writing a formal study but can be obtained by reading and studying. the strong and interested in reading can produce ideas through writing is excellent. people to promote their products and goods with the writing. they try to merik attract customers with the words sweet and confident. you can also learn ways and techniques appropriate to writing in order to attract customers and sell products. we should also be creative and open minded. essay writing and let us look like a professional and not menyingging feelings of others. be a good writer and smart to produce good ideas.
Will be interested to read your first hub, hasna! I hardly understood a word you wrote here...
Yes but we both suffer from "Awkward Readability Syndrome", or ARS for those unfamiliar with the disease, Izzy. So we may have a problem judging the work of other Hubbers unless we read their articles aloud.
I'm sure I've been called an ARS before. Sounds better if you read it aloud!
Good job I'd put my coffee mug down when I read this exchange between you and Randy
Well at a guess Id say shes agreeing with Will,just sounds all AR'S about
If that was the result of some type of translation, I just hope they have not paid good money for the programme.
Now what could 'menyingging feelings' be in English?
No, I dare not ask that for fear of what answers it may provoke.
Ha ha.....I was thinking the same thing!
I guess it is the feedback that makes you aware of your quality of writing. It is the amount of traffic, time spend by each reader and comments that helps you in analyzing your style and quality of writing.
Five minutes is an extremely long time. I've just run a little experiment and found that I average 700 words per minute when I read informative text that is not extremely technical. That means about 3,500 words in five minutes. I don't think there are many hubs of that length. If an average hub is 600-1000 words, I need somewhere between 60 and 90 seconds to read it.
I don't think the read time should be taken too literally. People leave their browsers open while doing other stuff etc.
It is still a useful relative measure. If a lot of people quit the page after only a few seconds you get low read times.
There is a metric on each Hub (one to five stars) for read time but unfortunately it doesn't match Google Analytics data so I think it is pretty untrustworthy.
Interesting point there.
Thinking a moment on my own experience when I surf, I bounce around very fast ,and for me to stay on one page longer than 3mins usually means Ive left my keyboard
But I think there is merit all the same in what you both post here
If anyone is curious about their reading speed, I found an on-line reading test at
http://www.readingsoft.com/ Yes, the place is trying sell some speed reading software, but I have no connections with the site whatsoever!
My results were 1786 words/minute, comprehension 82% (9 out of 11 comprehension test questions correct).
OK, the text was super simple, so was faster to read than most of the texts I tend to read. The web site owner claims average reading speed is 200 words/minutes, which I find incredible to believe. If it is true, it would explain why so many people don't like reading and avoid it as much as possible.
Mine is average.
Correction slightly above average.
I will definitely fail that speed reading test because I always stop reading after couple of lines. I'm not really fond of reading or maybe its because I'm addicted to Youtube that's why I can't concentrate. LOL
Good enough for what? For whom?
If it's good enough for you, if it serves it's purpose, then it's good enough.
If it is good enough for you but not good enough for anyone else you will not be making any money.
I won't go down that route anymore. I'd rather go and get a crappy job for money, and write what I feel like instead of the crap I used to write for clicks.
A less technical way to tell if your writing is up to snuff is to read it out loud. If you can't speak it out easily and fluidly, then it isn't going to read fluidly. If you pause in weird places, stumble between words, or have to take breaths in unnatural parts of a sentence, you may have a problem. Just a little nugget that might help a few out there (not as effective for non-native speakers of English, I know).
If you do this, and you happen to have written something in which the writing is just fine, but you aren't getting traffic or people are bouncing fast, you can at least consider it may be the topic rather than style.
There is plenty of writing that would pass the readability test but would never carry readers from the beginning to the end of the page.
A few of the things that might turn people off:
Bland copy writing
An obvious lack of understanding of the subject
Too me, me, me
Too damn friendly
The list of possible turn offs is enormous.
The 'does it read out loud without being awkward' test is just a first step.
Well, that's true. If one does not know how to make a point, then good writing style won't help them. If that's the case, they're in more trouble than they'll find help for in a forum.
I reckon writing is a learned craft not a gift from God.
I agree, writing is a craft. Point-making skills (rhetorical skills) and thought construction are something else.
If this was a bar and there was plenty of time, I would take you up on that conversation but I have some idea of the way it would go(over the hill and through the dale then back again). So I'm going to have to pass.
I would say that I have no rhetorical skills that I know of!
Also, it is past midnight here. So time to sleep.
There are two aspects to this:
=> How Googlebot judges readability
=> How humans judge readability
You need to pass the bot test so that you get ranked without a penalty.
You want the reader to stay on your site long enough for them to get exposed to the ads,
BUT you have to leave them hungry. If your article fully satisfies them they won't click the ads. The trick is to leave holes or gaps that the ads fill and offer a path for the user to want to click. This is not about readability, but its about content and article design.
Its a compromise - you need good content that will attract the type of readers who are likely to benefit from the information and will stay long enough to be exposed to the ads, but if the article 'says it all' they will be completely satiated and won't click the ads.
The 'sounds good when you read it out loud' test is not helpful except in a very general way - we need to satisfy the criteria of 'readability' that the bot uses. SEO is not dead - it simply needs to constantly evolve in response to how the formula is changed.
The perfect article in terms of readability to humans will probably not make much money except via organic links and referrals over a long period of time. Leave your readers hungry!
These characteristics impress me about a writer.
good grammar and spelling
good grades in writing courses
mentors who are published authors
write about what they know
Now, there should be a carryover to HubPages with these skills but you won't make money unless you know SEO and understand what attracts readers to Internet articles. It takes time to learn to accomplish the latter.
published writer - OK
good grammar and spelling - of course
good grades in writing courses - why? someone who knows how to write does not need courses
mentors who are published authors - even less relevant than the above! Mentorship is a concept conceived by those who cannot earn money in any other way except by mentoring the naive
write about what they know - yes, but how is this defined? I know a lot about many subjects, some of which bear no relation to my academic qualifications
research well - one would hope so, but difficult with the current weight of search engines results being directed at the lowest common denominator of (uneducated) majority opinion
'BUT you have to leave them hungry. If your article fully satisfies them they won't click the ads. The trick is to leave holes or gaps that the ads fill and offer a path for the user to want to click. This is not about readability, but its about content and article design.'
I will be honest, this 'writing for Adsense' trick is one of the things that drives me crazy. If someone is deliberately withholding information (and it quickly becomes obvious) I am away from that page with hatred in my heart. I won't click an ad and I resent someones attempt to manipulate me.
Sorry. I had a column that screwed up and now it looks like I can't write. Lol
Sometimes it takes people 5 minutes to understand what is written
Quality Assurance - Bedtime Stories
So true. Like everything in the world its a compromise. you need good content that will attract the type of readers who are likely to benefit from the information and will stay long enough to be exposed to the ads, but if the article 'says it all' they will be completely satiated and won't click the ads. Leaving holes or gaps that the ads fill and offer a path for the user to want to click, i found that add at speedreadinfo.com and its helped me with my writing since then. This is not about readability, but its about content and article design.
As I've waited out the hurricane I've had the time to do some wheel-spinning over this whole "readability" thing. The following lost post is either the fruits of that wheel-spinning or else the unfortunate and tediously long consequences of it (depending on how anyone would look at it): (Actually, maybe I'm just going a little wild now that the power is back on. )
That list of "too's" above is something people really need to be careful about. What's "too-one-thing-or-another" for one reader (or even group of readers) will be "just right" (or "not enough") for another bunch of readers.
The big thing we're all hearing now is "write with the user in mind". Well, if Google doesn't know how to please 100% of the people 100% of the time (which would be impossible, of course), how can any one writer really know that he's always aiming each and every piece of writing at "THE" user...
We've been told that people who write "a big mix" of Hubs tend to do better in recent days/months (whatever). The person who writes that big mix of Hubs will have very different users for each type of Hubs he writes. Google generally aims to send the kind of stuff for which people search to the right people, but we all know that doesn't/can't always work. The writer who writes for one kind of user can get a better take on what would find "high-quality". The writer who writes the big mix of Hubs is pretty much guaranteed he won't be pleasing a very large number of people who run into one of his Hubs or another (especially if he writes each Hub as if writes each Hub for only one kind of user). That particular matter is one that would require its own, whole, discussion; so moving on in a slightly different direction here...
The following remarks I'm going to make are absolutely blind remarks as far as any, one, writer on here (Hubpages or this thread) goes. (Well, there's one exception to how "blind" goes: Recently, I was "talking" a little with Randy Goodwin after he'd seen the dramatic traffic drop, so I did go to take a quick scan of his subjects, as well as a quick scan of one Hub.) I haven't recently read any Hubs of any of the people on this thread, or who show in the forums in general. I'm basing what my opinions/points only on my own, personal, challenges with aiming to write Hubs that wouldn't be considered "crap" by more people than would seem appropriate for the individual type of Hub, and with my own challenges with regard to which Hubs tend to do better.
I know absolutely nothing about algorithms. When I refer to "readability" I'm only referring to the thing with human tests done by reading aloud. I only scanned Randy's whole Hub, and only read, maybe, a paragraph or two. To be honest, I don't even recall what it was about; so I'm going to make up a subject and a make-believe Hubber for "referring purposes"/example here. Pretend there's a Hubber named "Fred" and that Fred wrote a Hub similar to Randy's, only Fred's Hub was offering information on Boston's history. Pretend, too, that Fred is the one who has had "readability" mentioned as a possible issue.
Fred's Hub is an impressive Hub to me. To me, as a human being who found it, it's what a Hub ought to be. It's extremely informative, and it has real substance to it. I see nothing wrong whatsoever with the style in which it is written because it is intended to be informative, and it does the job well. The writing is absolutely fine. Fred's Hub has so much substance in it (including photographs, as well as information) that I almost wonder if the problem with traffic is, in fact, with algorithms that have mistaken the substance/length of the Hub with what would commonly, and otherwise, be associated with an article of a different nature entirely than one that is aimed at being informative. In other words, I'm wondering if Google's algo's may first "take note" of something like subject-type (in Fred's case, Boston's history" and sense that the article is an information one, rather than, say, a first-person story on living through a natural disaster; and/or whether, instead, it's something simple (like length and/or pictures) that might "make the algo's" measure a Hub against, or by the same standard as, a completely different type of Hub. In other words, might the length and/or pictures (and/or some other elements of Fred's Hub) have misled the bots to "believe" it's not an information Hub and therefore should, instead, by measured by what is being evaluated in terms of elements of readability.
A human being who finds Fred's Hub isn't going to have any problem whatsoever reading it. In fact, the reader of that Hub isn't likely to be looking for all kinds of fancy fluffery and "intimate" familiarity or personal experience. The reader of an information Hub generally wants what presented in that clear way that doesn't include the kind of complexities that might make the aloud version of reading (or the algo's looking for them) seem more "natural". On the Internet, and even off, the only reading aloud that tends to go on might be something like the "robot man" on Kindle that reads aloud to anyone who prefers that. People don't generally read aloud informative, substantial, articles. They may read quickies aloud to someone else.
So, to me, it seems as if even if the bots have some imperfect way of detecting "readability" (at least as could be paralleled by a human's reading aloud and trying to sense level of readability), I'd think there might be the chance that the bots, as they've existed up to the recent days/weeks, don't yet know how to sort out and/or adjust expectations/measurements of, the differences between material written with the intent to provide substantial information and material written to be "fancier" or "more elaborate" in the way it aims to present information. Maybe some measurement of "readability" relates to the length of a piece of writing, and is "fancified" as the substance/length of an article increases???
Even if the thing about Fred's Hub on Boston's history not being as readable as the algo's are looking for were true, is the reading-aloud test even appropriate within the context of Internet writing? What I'd think matters most is whether an article is readable to silent readers who are looking for information. (Somebody could always adjust a piece of writing for the audio-books version. )
One thing I wonder about is whether a subject like "Boston's history" is interpreted differently by the algo's than a subject like, "How I lived through a natural disaster." Do the slgo's, if they're measuring that particular type of "readability", detect how separate something like a "facts-and-just-facts"/information piece from something like an informative, but personal, piece??
I can't help but suspect the problem with "the readability thing" (and people who have solid, well written, Hubs losing traffic) is more a matter of inadequacy in the algorithms (even if they're generally "great" and/or as good as they can be for now). Google, itself, has made it clear that they're always adjusting algo's as they become aware of flaws they didn't previously know about. Right now, I think they're losing some of the best, most informative and substantial, Hubs because their algo's don't yet know how to detect something like, perhaps, the difference between a substantial piece of informative writing and writing that would go into a category OTHER than being "the standard-length, informative, web article". Who knows.. Maybe with material under a certain number of words, the algo's aren't even looking for readability beyond correct grammar.
The subject of the Hub is also something I wonder about. Can the algo's recognize the difference with a subject like "Boston's history"? Really (and this may just be my opinion), a subject like "Boston's history" shouldn't be required to meet some "readability measure" no matter how long the article is. If I'm looking for information on Boston's history, I'm more than happy to find an article that gives the facts without a lot of that "wording fancification" that appears to be part of the measure of what's been more often considered "more readable". Some straight-and-to-the point, factual, information is superior with some types of subjects/purposes. "Boston's History" would be one of those subjects. The one about living through the natural disaster would be a different type of subject and may involve readers' having different expectations. In any case (and I could be wrong because I don't know anything about algorithms at all), I can't help but think Google needs to do some more adjusting, because I really do think (based only what has been going on with some people's Hubs on here) a lot of the best stuff is being lost to searches because (even if my own "theories" about what needs to be adjusted are wrong and completely ignorant with regard to how algorithms work) because the algorithms, as they are right now, are obviously missing something.
If the whole idea that the Internet and technology are "becoming more human" has made Google adjust its algorithms to an "aloud-reading-only" kind of thing, I think they've changed their algorithms too much in one direction and have overlooked the reality that "straight-and-to-the-point", "just-the-facts", information is still pretty much the biggest use of the Internet as far as I can tell. I really don't think anyone is intentionally aiming to make the Internet measure of "quality" the same as the measure of quality in, maybe, great works of classic literature, for example. IF aloud-readability even is the problem at all for someone like Fred, I think, within the context of the Internet and information (and if the aim is quality stuff showing up in searches), the importance of aloud-readability is being over-estimated.
A year or two ago people acted as if writing-in-general was a completely different thing from writing on the Internet, and as if the in-general rules of writing didn't even apply to Internet writing. These days, everybody (a lot of people) seem to be acting as if, all of a sudden, the only writing rules that matter are those rules about writing that apply to writing-in-general. People (and apparently Google's algo's as far as I can tell) need to still figure out when/where different sets of rules apply to different subjects, different types of writing, etc. etc.
If I'm anywhere near correct that the problem is with algorithms not being able to be adequately refined to sort out the kind of differences I suspect may be involved; and if it's just not possible for them to be adjusted in a way that a lot of solid stuff isn't being lost; then maybe there needs to be some manual way that writers/site owners can include something somewhere (for each piece of writing) that lets the bots know what standards should be used for measuring quality.
The other thing I can't help wondering is this: Suppose one person has 500 or 1000 of the same kind of Hubs as "Fred's" (long, well written, and with lots of substance). Is there any chance the bots are interpreting such numbers with the consistency in approach (including, maybe, substantial length) as "REALLY having mastered spam-like techniques"? Maybe the thing with the wide mix of different types of Hubs triggers something to let the bots know there's little of that kind of consistency (for good or ill). Maybe the bots (or Google) hasn't even really figured out that there can be such a thing as an individual writer who will devote the kind of effort required to create a bunch of Hubs that have that degree of both quality and consistency?
I understand that it's not possible to have algorithms that get it right every time, all the time. There's going to be some misses. Based only on some of the kinds of things on HubPages that have lost traffic compared to some of the other kinds of things on here that haven't; I can only guess something similar is likely going on across the Internet. How much decent stuff is missed, and how long the algo's apparently miss on it, is something I have no clue about. My own instinct is that people (including Google) need to be very careful not to overdo it when it comes to trying to apply "general-world writing rules/principles" to Internet writing; because while the Internet/technology worlds are continuing to become more and more one world, the Internet is still (and will always be), a "thing of its own" that may now have come around to growing beyond the old "Internet writing rules" that were separate from the "real-world", conventional, writing rules and started to value those conventional rules; but that will always still need a set of Internet-specific rules that don't particularly apply in the offline world.
A year ago it seemed to me people were too "hook, line, and sinker" into the thing about how "nobody cares about writing on the Internet" or "It isn't enough to just write well on the Internet." This year the big "hook, line, and sinker" thing is "writing quality". People (including Google) need to be careful about not adopting a "hook, line, and sinker" mentality at all; and instead finding what makes for the high quality for each type of, purpose for, writing; because last year (and in the years before that) a lot of people invested too much in last year's "conventional Internet wisdom". This year it looks to me as if a whole lot of people may be starting to invest too much in this newest "conventional Internet wisdom" (if new is ever "conventional"; because in the scheme of both business and writing, the Internet is still a pretty new thing, even if there are more and more people who haven't lived in world in which the Internet didn't exist).
As much as most of us on here like to try to help others by sharing what we think we know about what works and what doesn't, or what earns and what doesn't; when it comes down to it, Hubbers and even Hubs are often just too individual for anyone to assume he has the answers about why someone else is having some problem on here. I think the best anyone can do is know his own issues, aims, strengths, and weaknesses; and do what works for him with any solid information available (even if limited). What's "solid information" and what someone else presents as his own expertise when it comes to other people's writing (or Hub-creating) can be two very different things.
If I were one of the people whose traffic was hit, and I knew for a fact that my Hubs were written in decent grammar and put together with effort and research, I'd be very reluctant to even consider changing anything about them (or what kind of Hubs I wrote, if any, from here on) in an attempt to "please" Google. I just don't think it's wise to fix what isn't broken and to try to adjust to what very likely may, in fact, be what's at least a little bit broken (or at least "off), which could very well still be the algorithms (or at least something completely unrelated to the actual quality of the piece(s) of writing). I just think if Google were to figure out that one thing or another is being missed by its algorithms there's a good chance some adjustments would be made that could result in a whole different bunch of people being sandboxed next week or six months from now.
Who addresses what his traffic problems are how is individual, and is his own business; but one size does't fit all when it comes to these problems, the reason they exist, or how to fix them. I just think people need to be judicious in what decisions they make about what to do, but particularly be careful about adopting the "hook, line, and sinker" thinking that tends to go with "one-size-fits" all approaches to things.
Lisa, I ask this with great warmth: this is your post on the issue of readability?!
shogun, I'm not entirely sure what you're getting at, and I'm not at all "taking it personally" or with any kind of offense or other negative reaction (honest); but I'm guessing there's a good chance it's the length of the post you have in mind. ().
Something else I know I do that a lot of people don't think writers should do is use longer sentences with lots of punctuation. (I've had this when I used to occasion try to answer something on Yahoo answers: The window pops up and says, "Whoa. It looks like you have a lot of punctuation there" (or something like that). (God forbid anyone use punctuation, or sentences long enough to require it, on the Internet. ) Anyway, I know a lot of people don't think much of my approach to the writing I do online.
Besides the above two possible (shall we say) flaws for which I'm often known, I'm not above intentionally playing with grammar rules if I think doing that expresses something better (or else is a kind of playful way of expressing something).
All I know is that much of the time one man's "readability" can be another man's "unbearable" , for one reason or another.
So, all else aside, while the above post may not be very readable to a whole lot of people, my claim isn't that that the post is a great example of readability - only, yes, that the post is "on the issue of readability". (Sometimes two completely separate matters. ) (Besides, hey - I'm not the only one on here who talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk, as they say. (and just to make sure you know I don't take your remark in a way you didn't intend it to be taken: or maybe it would be better if I add a: ,
I only meant the length, Lisa, that's all. I think your writing is great...you just prefer really long posts. I tend to be a little overly to the point most of the time! or
I try not to use long sentences. Mainly, I want people to understand what I say as quickly as possible. I also try to avoid ambiguity (unless I am feeling perverse).
I also like the craft of writing and trying out different styles for different subject matter.
These are some of my favorites styles:
know it all geek
breathless and urgent (you and your family will die if you don't read this page)
The challenge of matching content to audience makes the job-a-day business of writing online more interesting.
Also, there is no disgrace in doing as much work as possible on behalf of the reader. So clarity is a priority.
Right. The Panda slap that some writer's have suffered has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with writing quality. Nothing at all.
Because quite frankly some of the 'success' stories who avoided the slap write utter garbage. I don't just mean they are not creative or literary or worthy, even if they are 'just' sales hubs - they are CRAP in terms of writing quality.
So let's not keep grinding this pointless quality writing and worse still, readability, nonsense.
Google might measure time spent on page. It might also measure how many sheets of toilet paper I use. It could use one to note down the other and then flush them both away.
The people who run Google are largely incoherent, illiterate, boring, up themselves idiots. They have a monopoly. Well whoop-de-do. They don't know quality, they can't measure quality.
I didn't get slapped, yet most of my visitors spend hardly any time on the page. So what do we make of that? Perhaps my 'quality' didn't match their expectation.
Unfortunately this is probably because my 'quality' is alien to the morons who make up 98% of the population. Lots of words? Caustic comment? It won't tick the boxes when they're looking for a pair of tits or a flat screen TV.
And it won't tick the Google box either.
OK, mini rant over.
Question: How do I know if my writing is good enough?
Original Answer: If people read to the bottom and enjoyed it.
New Internet Answer: If it hooks people in and makes a sale.
Quality. My ass.
Mark, so that I add a serious note to the thread, I want to say that I agree with you. While "quality" is a debatable point, I wouldn't measure Google's love by it. Those doing so are either kidding themselves or others.
Right across the web, people and companies are scrambling to improve the quality of their sites. eHow dumped many thousands of substandard pages, Hubpages was forced to separate its content in a way that allows genuine evaluation of content etc etc etc.
In other words, Panda is a big success for Google already. In a couple of years time, when the changes Google has forced on publishers has taken full effect, the web will be a very different place.
For a definition of quality in Google's eyes, check out what Fiction Teller has to say.
If your ego is more important than your professionalism you will need a massive amount of talent to succeed. Maybe you have that. I know that I don't.
I'm never too sure who is responding to whom on here, but just in case you were getting back to me, Will, I wanted to let you know that I read Fiction Teller's response and it does make some sense to me. I don't know what you're talking about in your last paragraph, though.
That was supposed to be a reply to Mark Ewbie's post. Did I mess up? I don't use the threaded option for viewing forums so I don't know how it looks in that format.
I take your point Will, despite having an enormously large ego.
The web is scrambling to catch up with Panda, and I am editing and re-editing practically everything I do. I am not up myself so much I don't recognise the need to try to satisfy the viewer, and the search engine / Panda.
My point, such as it was, hidden mostly by ranting, was that 'quality' is very much a subjective view. One man's quality is another man's garbage. I think I probably wrote something about it or maybe I dreamt I did.
edit: I checked, and I must have dreamt it.
We are all doing our best and no one can expect more.
The thing is we have been given a fantastic opportunity on Hubpages to get massive audiences- even if we need to pander (pun intended) to our audiences needs.
I especially don't want to screw up because I live off what I earn online. So I am willing to try pretty hard.
They weren't "forced" to do this - they did it off their own bat as an experiment. And knowing the people who have identified themselves as "plungers" on here, Google hasn't done a good job of sorting the sheep from the goats, quality-wise.
Google is a long way from being able to do "genuine evaluation" - assuming it ever gets there or its definition of "quality" is anything that a real human being would acknowledge/recognise.
Hubpages were not forced to do it, true. They could have quietly folded.
Google views quality as relative to the user. It's all about the user. If the user cares about grammar, then quality means grammar. If the user cares about sincerity, then quality means sincerity. If the user cares about authority, then quality means authority. If the user wants to give a site their credit card, then quality means "trusted with secure data." If the user wants clear writing, fun writing, an in-depth look, a superficial look, a long look, a quick look...etc...etc...that's what Google wants to see.
All we can do is try to use our data and our best guesses to figure out what the user wants, because that is what Google is doing, too.
You're crediting Google with a lot more competence than it actually has. I know that Google employs filter bubble algorithms that give people the search results it "thinks" they want to see, but these are hugely flawed* and I am sure they don't weed out the crap anyway. (Hell, I use Google often enough - I *know* they don't weed out the crap. You need specific search terms, operators and a well-developed personal bullsh1t detector do do that. There is no substitute for using your own judgment.)
Not competence...confidence. That's just their frame of mind, what they're working toward, not what they're doing successfully, or may ever succeed in doing.
People are concerned about quality in this thread. As others have said, quality depends on how you define it. I think it depends on how the "judge" defines it. Who is the judge of quality? Whoever you happen to care about.
If you care how your browsing traffic judges quality, you'll go by their definition, which may rest on how well you entertain them - and that might involve how original, interesting, authoritative and polished your writing is.
If you care how search engine traffic judges quality, you'll go by their definition, which may rest on how well you answer their question - and that may involve how authoritative, clear, trustworthy, quick and easy to read your writing is.
If you want to know how search engines, themselves, judge quality, you'll look to what they say. Bing says they use metrics like bounce rate. Google says they look to their users.
If you care about how a traditional publisher judges quality, then you'll go by their definition and write for the print market, putting your work out there as an example of what you can do.
If you care about how others judge quality...English teachers...your mom...you, yourself...philosophers...supermarket clerks...astronauts...you'll go by their definitions.
Quality is not a marker of success, however you define it. First, because search engines are just in their beginning stages of trying to recognize quality. Second, because aiming for quality and achieving it are two different things - no writer hits it every time. Third, because the "judge" you choose to look at may not be anyone who can help you succeed.
And if you are trying to please Google, next year they'll be looking for something else. At least that is how I am beginning to feel.
You should writes the good Inglish like what I do if you success wants to be.
After reading all this, I just had to put in my two cents. I know it was said a few times, but talking about quality and readability is kind of a moot point, unless you know exactly who is going to read what you write every time. Everyone has their own opinion on what is good or bad. As for the time spent, what about the people that just write short poems? There is no way that it would take five minutes to read a four stanza poem, or even one with fifteen.
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