SEO: Is Content King?

JasonVan posted 28th of September 2010 in Community Voice. 6 comments.

Okay, so it appears that there are quite a few members here on unity that advocate "Content Building" as the most crucial aspect of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).


Here is how this theory usually goes: Create great content on your website and your website will naturally succeed.


This line of reasoning definitely appeases the major search engines, whose ultimate goal is to allocate better ranking to sites that provide better content.


Telling someone to build great content and they will succeed, however, only creates more questions than it answers.  That is why I'm really hoping to get some of these "Content is King" advocates to answer some critical questions.  These questions are posed sincerely and with a genuine and honest interest in learning more about SEO.  I am definitely not an expert in SEO, and I honestly believe there is a lot I still need to learn.


1. Do I write all this content or do I expect my members to participate through bogs, forums, and articles?


2. How much quality content do I need on my index page?


3.  How will the search engines know that this content is high quality?


4.  What if my members are posting content that is riddled with slang, spelling, grammar and sentence structure errors.  Should I delete this content as it will not appear to the search engines as quality content?


5.  If I write articles containing great content, should I post these to my site, to high ranking article sites, or both?  What about duplicate content penalties?



Writing "great content" for a chat, dating or social networking site can be a bit tricky.  It's unlikely you will be able to reveal any undiscovered and mind blowing secrets about relationships that have never been mentioned before.  Thus it may be quite difficult to write content so good that it has no choice but to go viral.


I once wrote a very sensational article about dating (under a pen name) and posted it to five of the top article sites.  On one of these sites my article got read over 1,600 times in the first week and got tons of comments, feedback, and link clicks.  On the other four sites my article only got read a few times each, and with little to no response.  Sadly, after a few weeks the article was no longer getting any attention at all.


Now I'm definitely not saying content isn't extremely important.  I'm only saying that is very, very discouraging when you do create good content and it goes unnoticed and unappreciated (and unlinked to).

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I'm quite eager to get to know this issue as well much better.

Thanks Jason!
Thanks Diddy.

I was hoping this post would get a bit more attention than it did. Everyone wants a perfectly running script, but nobody seems too concerned if any visitors ever find this "perfect" site.
In the final analysis good quality content will provide for you pretty much everything you might do in terms of SEO/SEM! So, given that you can probably manufacture decent quality content quite easily I'd suggest that you do so, lots, and now!

That does not mean that you can ignore SEO/SEM, I'd not suggest that, but in essence, good quality content on a site that is getting regularly spidered will lead to good results. A short while ago I ran an article directory that was giving me around 4000 see more uniques per day and a revenue to match. Just about the only promotion we did was to add new content to the site every day and ensure that our rss feeds were being used around the interwebs. This is a strategy that I still follow.
I produce good quality content. I place that content on my sites. I syndicate that content around the internet using rss feeds, article directories and blog posting. This generates backlinks and traffic. Along side this we get some bookmarking done by our visitors and of course some additional backlinks as people link to our content.
In terms of your specific questions:
1) Much of the content I have on my main sites is user generated, this is syndicated using rss feeds. I also add my own material, often rewritten from other sources to which I hold the rights for reuse.

2) On my content heavy sites the front page is essentially a gateway to the rest of the site and so is mainly links to the content in the rest of the site, a typical Dolphin setup. The search engines kinda live on the front page and find the site content from see more the links, tags & categories.

3) As to quality, whilst I am sure that Google et al are working on sorting out well written content or content that has novelty value - adds to the sum of human knowledge - for now the best mark of quality for SE's seems to be the traffic and bounce rate to and from a page. If a page as a load of links, gets traffic and the traffic does not bounce back off the page but stays and visits deeper then a safe assumption is that the content is of acceptable quality for its readership and provides good value for the readers. My Dolphin based site has a bounce rate in the mid 30% range, users hang around for over 14 minutes and read on average 6.5 pages each. I am guessing that Google would not have a problem with seeing this as decent quality content. ;)
4) In terms of submitted content I am aware that not everyone is fully fluent in English. If the article makes sense to me, has an idea or two then I do not worry if the article is a little 'off' in terms of grammar or usage. I also consider the context. If an article is, for example, written by an Indian writer for an Indian audience then I let stuff slide that I'd not do for a writer, Indian or not, aiming at a US audience. We rank pretty well in India. ;)
However you need to take a judgment see more for the overall quality of your site. This is not always an easy balance to reach.

5) If you have good quality content post it to your own site first. Then, for best results, rewrite it for submission elsewhere. There are tools to help you with rewriting but if your own English is at all dodgy then be careful in using them as they can, unless you know what you are doing produce some real rubbish output. I use two tools for my rewriting, you can Google for them based upon the names: "Content Composer" and "Rewrite Rocket" both from the same stable but taking a different approach to the task. Rewrite Rocket is the faster and easier to use of the two, it is also cheaper.
Overall though your site will NOT be penalized for having content on it that is available elsewhere. Rewritten content will get you better results though.

When you submit content to any site, including your own, it will always get more reads when it is new than when it has aged. Promotion of your pages, articles and sites is an ongoing task that never ends. There are ways to make the job easier though. I confess, I find using content to build my business seems the easiest and most reliable method see more of promotion as it is doing the very thing that search engines seek out - new stuff for people to read, listen to or watch.

One final point, always try to promote your promotions! If you have an article on another site then either link to it from somewhere, or easier and maybe better, take an rss feed from the site that contains your article and submit it to a raft of rss aggregators and directories, it only takes a couple of minutes to do and will benefit your target site by providing a network of links channeling back you your own main site and page.

So, content absolutely rocks, it is king, queen and emperor!
I hope this helps!
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