Is Content Really King Now?

Ever since Google started with their bout of Panda, and more recently, Penguin updates SEO’s have been either affected (or more accurately their clients websites have been) by them, or are at best a little nervous that something done in the past, by them or a previous firm, could just tip the balance and send a website plummeting into oblivion.

The problem is that for years Google themselves (or should that be itself?) have been telling us that content is king and not to become involved in manipulative link practices. However I’m sure many of us have seen a competitors site suddenly appear on page one and when we look at why that could have happened, it’s just down to them having bought a load of links from a blog network, used automated software to post up hundreds of blog comments or profiles with a link back to their site. The frustration this causes to those who continue to work within the Google guidelines is huge and many have flirted with the dark side. Of course, since the Penguin struck towards the end of April 2012 many have wished they hadn’t. Just for the record, I personally expect the updates to become more strict over the coming months and into 2013, so it’s likely that many more sites will feel the wrath of the Penguin!

The next problem which has arisen since then is that everyone seems to be jumping on the “content is king” bandwagon, furiously writing content or encouraging clients to do so in the hope of attracting a few more visitors. While this is a noble effort on their part (albeit probably a bit late) it’s really not the whole picture.

Yes, to some degree the search engines want to see that a website isn’t dormant, after all they are in the business of selling advertising providing people browsing the net with up to date and relevant information for their search query. On this level a blog post, not dissimilar to this one keeps the content moving and a website up to date, it may even be found and attract a couple of clicks here and there. If you are really lucky, someone may just decide to link to your post.

This is the problem though, this alone will not propel your site to the dizzy heights of page one in the search engines, in fact if you are writing something which has been written about before, it may not even make the top 100, and let’s be honest, in most cases if it’s not on page 1 it may as well not be there at all anyway.

So what’s the solution?

There is no single easy fix for this, but from my testing, it does seem that social signals are starting to make more if an impact on the SERP’s, so write for a particular audience and make sure they know it’s there, if they pick up on it that’s when it could go viral (to use a somewhat outdated term), the more people who see it, the more comments you will receive, making the page more interesting and interactive, people will start linking to it from their own websites and the snowball effect has started. Once it begins don’t let it stop whatever you do, read what other people are saying about your post/article, then follow it up quickly with something else of interest to that now wider social following. If need be employ someone to do a part of your job which will free up some time for you to focus on it, because as soon as you take your eye off that snowball it will surely begin to melt!

Oh yes and remember that the objective here is to steer people towards your sales pages, subtly of course, but just make sure you include a strategically placed and well considered links to the right pages on your site.