Once again Google has proven that content is king! In a recent announcement Matt Cutts, head of Google’s search spam team, revealed that Google has been working on a new algorithm that will punish sites that are ‘over-optimised’ for SEO.
According to Cutts the update, which is due to go live in a few weeks, is planned to level the playing fields between those companies that can afford to spend thousands on SEO and the small organisations that have to work on their own web content.
It aims to give all sites the opportunity to rank well if they have good content, even if it hasn’t been search engine optimised, which is something many SEO companies have worked out how to do. Cutts explained that the websites which would be targeted and punished are those that “throw too many keywords on the page, exchange way too many links, whatever they’re doing to go beyond what a normal person would expect.”
Content should be driven by topics and not keywords. It should be about what the visitor wants to read and not what you think Google wants. This is something that Google has been working towards since the ‘Panda’ updates that were rolled out last year.
You need to write compelling content based on what your audience would find useful and relevant to them. Cutts says: “Make a compelling site. Make a site that’s useful. Make a site that’s interesting. Make a site that’s relevant to people’s interests… We’re always trying to best approximate if a user lands on a page if they are going to be annoyed… All of the changes we make are designed to approximate, if a user lands on your page, just how happy they are going to be with what they’re going to get.”
Creating that outstanding content is not difficult; simply think about what your visitors want first, and search engines second.
6 tips to making your content work:
1. Quality Content
Unique quality content has always been necessary and is more important than ever with the upcoming Google updates. Think about your audience and give them the information they want. Remember to make it interesting!
2. Fresh Content
Sites need to grow and Google favours sites with fresh up-to-date content, so update your site with quality and relevant content on a regular basis. This will give your visitors a reason to come back.
3. Relevant Content
Search engines look for the most relevant information and will display web pages that offer the best results in response to a search query. Making your content relevant to a search query is a critical part of content optimisation.
Writing real quality content generally equates to quantity. However, some topics can generally be very laborious to read so ensure that it is interesting, relevant, focused and easy to read. Add headings using H1 and H2 tags, keep paragraphs short, and use bullet points if needed to organise information.
5. Keeping it natural
Over-using your keywords in your content will turn your visitors off and also search engines. Quality and focused content will naturally include your keywords so don’t go out of your way to add more keywords into your content.
6. Easy to share content
Content shared on social media platforms will give you a larger audience and will add more weight to the ranking of your site. Bing’s Duane Forrester explains that “If you’re not engaged socially, you’re missing the boat because the conversation is happening socially about you and about your content. Those are really important signals for us. Whether you’re involved or not is your choice, but those signals still exist whether you’re in the conversation or not.’
Write content for your audience and keep it focused, interesting and informative. Continue to develop new relevant content to ensure that your site is always kept up-to-date and fresh and at the same time build up your social networks where you can distribute and share your content.