I have just read a headline of SEJ (SEARCH ENGINE JOURNAL) post, announcing that it is the biggest falsehood to pronounce that content is king.
I have not read the article at all, as the headline of it made me upset, wondering what the heck was the writer meant by that sort of (CLICK BAIT) headline.
I understand that SEO or search engine optimization has evolved distinctively from its erstwhile and unacceptable blackhat SEO tactic to its modernistic and a rather acceptable transition, in which nobody can refute significance of content. Today’s SEO understands what content could do to the status-quo of a website. Believe it or not, it is an integral part of SEO tactic.
My take is that content must be thanked for its great contribution to the success of a website or business of a brand. If that were not the case, and content, as impugned by so called reputable web sources, were not considered to be the prime factor for any brand involved in the digital marketing, we wouldn’t have witnessed the success of many websites today, including the Copyblogger and similar ones.
These sources are considered credible by their visitors, not because these sources are optimised from the perspective of their website’s layout, graphical beauty, linking tactics; and a host of algorithm-atic works called On-Page SEO.
They are popular today because of their high-quality content; the information which has helped their visitors learn something new, and has broadened their viewpoints or ideology positively or has compounded their perspective in a new way of observing things.
I have been writing content for the last 5 years. The era my profession as a writer belongs to was the era when witnessing meaningless textual contents on any subject that demanded your narrative to be quality and users-centric was the order of the day. I was told by my employers to stuff an article/blog with a set of keywords prioritised based on their relevance pertaining to increasing SERP stand of their websites in Google.
Probably, even the search engines were not advanced in those days, which was the reason why inundation of cheap content full of keywords and backlinks registered their (annoying) dominance on the Internet. Though writers were in demand and bulk contents were written to maintain a continual supply of content to the content mill or to those online platforms trading content for their clients.
However, even in those days, I sort of felt relaxed to see that content was still regarded as the mainstay for branding a product/service. If I recollect correctly, I used to receive many requests for short content to be written for small brands, and a guy told me once that without sufficient content, his website went into the pit of Google’s abysmal space. Well, not practically…..he meant to say the dearth of sufficient content had the ranking of his website collapsed in Google and he was then at the receiving end of losing a business of much, much money (he did not elaborate on that part).
Now there is nothing like that. Google and other search engines pulled up their socks. They became smarter. They started to whiplash the website owners promoting bad content. Google, of course, has gone far ahead compared to its counterparts. The point is, among all the launching of new and upgraded algorithms of Google, one thing that I have personally observed is that they are giving priority, I mean, serious priority to the CONTENT. If you don’t believe me, read Google’s PANDA update.
This algorithm is like Terence Fletcher, a jazz instructor in the movie, WHIPLASH. I hope you guys have watched the movie. Just as Terence was to Andrew Neiman, Panda is to the websites with THIN CONTENT.
Well, there’s just one difference, though. Panda, unlike Terence, will not tell you what to do if your tune (behaviour) doesn’t accord quite to its TEMPO 🙂
Anyway, my point is – content is really a king, and it is not a hoax. What matters essentially in this context, though, is that NOT ALL CONTENT CAN BE SAID, KING. The content that gives you some knowledge; and information that you were seeking, a perspective that you wanted to be changed positively and informatively can be said, KING.
Here, king stands for SIGNIFICANCE. The significance quotient of your content is what determines its VALUE, for your target readers, and for your target SE (search engine/s).
I don’t mean to discredit SEO at all. I believe a combination of quality SEO and quality Content could be the culmination of a powerful branding. The result of such unification is always substantial, in the manifestation of widespread visibility of your brand, better engagement, great retention ratio, and an increased chance for lead’s conversion.