Fight Fluff With Our Web Content Quiz

Web content fluff photo

Some companies post fluff on the web as a marketing strategy. We’ve all seen it: “helpful” articles written without the benefit of a decent encyclopedia by writers paid pennies per post. Until recently, Google’s preference for content-heavy sites rewarded these content farms with improved search rankings.

In February, Google took steps to downgrade the search rankings of high volume, low quality sites by making a significant adjustment to it’s algorithm. In April, Google expanded its algorithm change from just U.S. sites to all English-language sites. By some estimates, visibility of some of these sites fell as much as 94% after Google’s initial adjustment.

But fluff isn’t just limited to content farms. Could your site get caught in Google’s fluff reduction efforts? How much of your website is fluff?

The Webcopyplus Fluff Quiz

Take our quiz to see if your site is fluffy or fantastic. Rank your level of agreement with each statement below, then tally your points and read our assessment. Good luck!

1. Our main website priority is search engine optimization.

Strongly Disagree (1)     Disagree (2)     Undecided (3)     Agree (4)     Strongly Agree (5)

Unless your target market runs on a chip and looks like the Tin Man, your priority should be human visitors first, and search engines second.

By letting SEO drive your web content, you are creating fluff. It is better to write for your target market first (i.e. some subset of the human race) and then amend as needed to maximize SEO without sacrificing your human audience. SEO tactics may improve your ranking, but people still need to view the site.

2. We like to see what keywords people are searching for and then come up with content to match.

Strongly Disagree (1)     Disagree (2)     Undecided (3)     Agree (4)     Strongly Agree (5)

And that new content is typically fluff.

Creating content based on popular searches might direct traffic your way, but it’s not going to help your conversion rates. It’s fine to amend your content to utilize hot keywords, but only if the keywords are a natural fit for your site. Content driven by keywords not relevant to your site is a recipe for fluff.

3. We sometimes repeat content on our website to maximize keywords.

Strongly Disagree (1)     Disagree (2)     Undecided (3)     Agree (4)     Strongly Agree (5)

Repeated content is fluffy content. Repeated content is fluffy content. It irritates the reader. It irritates the reader.

Create your best content and put it on your site once. It disorientates the reader to find the same information in different locations on your site. If you find you need to put the same information in two places, then you need to take closer look at your site architecture.

4.  We sometimes add extra paragraphs or web pages to improve our search engine ranking.

Strongly Disagree (1)     Disagree (2)     Undecided (3)     Agree (4)     Strongly Agree (5)

Snore. Oh, sorry. What were you writing there? It was so deathly boring I nodded off.

Never create content just for the sake of creating content. It’s lazy, unimaginative, bores your readers, and makes your brand look bad.

5. When we need to add more content to our site, we randomly link another page or two to our sitemap.

Strongly Disagree (1)     Disagree (2)     Undecided (3)     Agree (4)     Strongly Agree (5)

Building a website is like building a home: You need a good plan. You don’t want to rip down walls or build lean-tos in your backyard every time you want to make a change.

If your site architecture is well-planned, it should be scalable, both up and down. It also makes it easier to see where more content is needed and where it is not. If you have one-pagers hanging off your root folder, you may have a fluff infestation.

If your site architecture is a problem, consider whether:

6. We developed our website as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Strongly Disagree (1)     Disagree (2)     Undecided (3)     Agree (4)     Strongly Agree (5)

If you assigned the design, development, and content of your site to a junior assistant, you have fluff. If your web developer scribbled your site plan on pages torn from the back of a Tom Clancy novel, you have fluff. If you acquired a writer with promises of portfolio development and pizza, then you have fluff.

A strong team of professional designers, developers and copywriters can help make sure your website meets your goals while keeping fluff to a minimum.

Fluff is cheap. But it may end up costing you more than you know.

7. If we create an interesting table, list or graph for a presentation, we also like to post it on our website.

Strongly Disagree (1)     Disagree (2)     Undecided (3)     Agree (4)     Strongly Agree (5)

That’s about as appealing as belly button fluff!

Repurposing content is fine. It can be a time-effective way to keep your web content fresh. But you must present all content in context. Don’t post pretty tables, lists, graphs or illustrations without explaining what they are and why people should care. Otherwise: fluff.

8. There is nothing we enjoy more than auto-generating content or scraping content from other sites.

Strongly Disagree (1)     Disagree (2)     Undecided (3)     Agree (4)     Strongly Agree (5)

You need a fluff intervention, my friend. These black hat activities will generate fluff and a Google delisting. Can jail time be far behind?

No need to calculate your score. Delete that website and return to question one.


Add up your score and see how you did:

If you scored 8-15:
Congratulations, you are officially fluff-free! Your content is relevant, topical and useful to readers.

If you scored 16-23:
Your website is a little soft and chubby. Time to bring out your inner-editor and start editing.

If you scored 24-31:
You have more fluff than the corporate headquarters of Build-a-Bear. Time for some serious website reworking. Start deleting pages and sections, and think about revising your site architecture.

If you scored 32-40:
Call the fluff exterminators! It’s a fluff swarm of biblical proportions. You can either delete the site and start over, or translate the entire site into Swahili. It might keep you safe until Google expands its algorithmic adjustment to non-English sites, but don’t expect the people of East Africa to be grateful.

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