Why Great Content is Still Very Important

Back in the early part of the last decade, Google changed its algorithms to form a more perfect Internet. A search engine that formerly spidered the Web for specific meta tags and measurable textual keywords, Google changed its focus to overall content and the perceived authority of a given website. Web ranking wasn’t a word cramming game any longer. Content was finally declared king.

With every update, Google has focused on content more and more. That trend has never waned and has even grown in importance. It seems to believe that quality of content is one of the best determinants of a quality site. The old days of interlinking with mammoth spam sites just to have the links spidered created a Web where a lot of the smaller and better sites never rose to the top.

In these days of social media, where countless voices have their say, the links tend to point to content of higher quality. There is some degree of spam, but the links to good articles and other content of value will always take predominance since regular surfers outnumber marketers. Therefore, a link from a social media site to a content site will be a strong indicator for Google that the content site is worthy of notice. The goal isn’t so much to get the link spidered, since Googlebots are everywhere. The goal is Google’s notice of the link recommendation. It helps to augment the original site’s Google street credentials.

Great content is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but content that will be noticed and remarked on by the largest number of people is probably the closest descriptive one can find for what amounts to great content. A site that offers high value content that is repeatedly acknowledged and linked to by established sites with noted search engine authority is most likely a good long-term definition of great content too.
Simply writing or otherwise amassing well-written and well-produced content on a site is probably the only truly durable search engine strategy. Traffic growth may be slower to build, but the traffic will be more productive to the site’s long-range goals. Of course, it’s probably a good idea to set-up low-profile fan base hubs or networks for a content site in social media sites. These can include Facebook fan pages, Squidoo lenses, Google+ Hangouts and chats, a del.icio.us stack or two, or some other form of central pathway from the less hierarchical social media

What makes up good content? Obviously, items of interest. Those articles are preferably well-written and accurately spelled. Grammar is always a good thing. Strong and reliable sources, fresh content that is regularly updated, and big name bloggers can also be helpful in gaining search engine recognition. Truly, anything of merit that can be read, viewed or listened to.

The first content rule is thou shalt not spam. Keyword stuffing, hidden text, never-ending meta tags, and all the other Google reindeer games of ages past are so Y2K. They just don’t pass the current search engine tests. Some of this can get a site banned. While site banning does not carry the eternal stigma it once did, it’s still not a good idea to meddle in the affairs of dragons at any time.

The second rule of content is brevity is the soul of wit, though being too short also has its disadvantages. Content farms used to argue back and forth about the best length of an article, but seeing as content farms got cleared-out in the last purgation of Google, they’re probably not a good reference point from which to draw one’s conclusions. There is a point where the content is simply too long or large.

Each site will have to find its own content comfort point in accordance with the rise and fall of its traffic. Stats may be among the most important tools in search engine optimization, yet some webmasters don’t even know how to reach theirs. That is how one takes the pulse of the site’s visitors. That’s how one sees how long the website visitors stay and where they may lose interest. These are vital indicators for future optimization.

Internet marketers must surrender the war to the readers. Google has won. They bet on optimizing for the searchers and they’ve been rewarded with their success. There is no lasting way to game the search engines in any real way any longer. The worst games will be bad for a site. The best will be useless in the long run. There is no magic to it. There’s no clapping for Tinkerbell. It’s all just a whole lot of work.

Once marketers accept that the future is in the quality of their content, they can finally learn reliable steps for Internet marketing, with no pixie dust required.

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