QUART – the Five Super-Signals of SEO

QUART - Quality - Uniqueness - Authority - Relevance - TrustFor my entire career within the internet marketing arena, I have done my best to help ensure clients (and employers when I worked as an in-house specialist) received the highest level of quality, value and trust.

Having come from the marketing world prior to the internet being “a thing” (THE thing!), that notion was just always part of what mattered.  And it holds true to this day. Quality is everything. Value is everything. Trust is everything!

Especially when we realize that quality and value are about meeting site visitor needs.

Going further though, for the past several years, I have been a proponent of helping clients and others in the search industry grasp concepts that can, at times, be overwhelming.

SEO is not rocket science – it IS search science though.

To that end, a few years back, I came up with what I refer to as “The Five Super Signals of SEO”.  For the hundreds of primary factors and thousands of sub-factors that make up SEO, it all consistently comes back to the top five.

  • Quality
  • Uniqueness
  • Authority
  • Relevance
  • Trust

QUART is Not Just for SEO

What’s really powerful about these five super-signals is they don’t just apply to SEO. They apply to Social Media, and anything you can do regarding marketing. Email campaigns. Public Relations (the actual sustainable model that leads to the highest quality leads). All of it!

Get Three Out Of Five For The Win!

In the simplest terms, the goal is to understand that whatever you do for marketing, including SEO, any one factor or signal or element of that work needs to be held up against the five super signals.  If you can get any three super signals to be strong, the other two will happen over time, naturally / organically.

Don’t assume however, that “well, we do two of the five so well, we can get away with it”!  That’s a recipe for penalties and algorithmic reduction in rankings, and beyond SEO, it’s a recipe for a damaged online reputation as well.

Without Relevance, it’s Not Really SEO

Within that though, relevance is what I call “the hinge-pin” Super-Signal. You can get the other four signals maximized all you want, yet if that thing, that offering, that element or signal does not align with relevance to people’s needs, nothing matters. You won’t have truly sustainable SEO.

User Mindset Matters Most

Understand that you will need to clear your thinking, your preconceived understanding of what YOU think the five super-signals of SEO means from YOUR perspective.  And instead, you need to step into the shoes / mind / emotional experience of your ideal customer or client – your ideal site “user”.  Your target market.

Do THEY use the same words YOU do for your products or services? If some of them do, what about people who never heard of your particular company or offerings?  What if there are more generic, non-brand specific words they use?

What is the psychological process THEY go through when they are looking to learn about a topic or be entertained, or make a purchase?

That is what you need to focus on the most when using the QUART super-signal model for evaluating your presence online.

Search Engines as Users

The next critical concept to realize is that search engines use your content, your site as well. So it’s also critical to recognize that search algorithms are formulaic efforts to replicate user experience.

Because of this, recognize that technical considerations are a foundation to helping search crawlers and algorithms to “understand” the five super-signals as well.

Page speed, site navigation, content silos, structured markup, content volume breadth  – all of these and more, matter as part of the five super-signals of SEO when it comes to search crawlers and algorithms.


QUART super-signal graphic courtesy Avalaunch Media