As Google rolls out another wave of significant changes with the inevitable fall-out, many site owners and those in the SEO industry are left considering changes that may yet be to come.
Whilst the latest algorithm updates seem primarily targeted at improving the approach taken by some to link building, many believe that Google is aiming to reduce the level of ‘over-optimisation’ across all elements of SEO.
Anyone responsible for a site’s content strategy should be mindful of this: if Google is, as has been suggested, penalising sites for over-optimising on keywords in link anchor text, it is logical to assume that similar penalties may apply – now or in the future – for the same over-optimisation in on-page content.
As with linking, Google seems unlikely to change its stated position on content. In essence, write for your users, not the search engines. Keep it unique, relevant, focused and of the highest possible quality. Keyword stuffing content at high density would seem to be a risky undertaking in 2012.
Quality became one of the most over-used words in the business dictionary in the late 1990’s. Everyone from major brands to the local skip hire firm suddenly embraced total quality management, delivering quality skips on quality trucks, driven by quality staff.
The word is similarly over-used in today’s online industry. We have yet to meet a content provider who didn’t offer ‘high quality content’. The reality is often at variance with the sales pitch and yet it is entirely possible for a business to safely outsource the provision of written content.
However you produce material, ensure that it is written by in-country writers who are prepared to thoroughly understand your organisation, your value proposition, your target audience and your objectives.
Timing is also essential. If your budget will cover, for example, 100 pieces of content, it is likely to be of far greater value to add this over a couple of months than as a single batch. Why? Google is, understandably, looking to reward sites that put the effort into adding new content on a regular basis.
Clearly by no means everyone’s budget will support the daily addition of articles, blog posts, advisory pieces and so forth. However, if a fresh index of your site picks up something new even on a weekly basis, this may help in differentiating you from less committed competitors.
Length also matters. Whilst 200 words may be of value as an above the fold category summary on an e-commerce site, it provides for relatively little depth or insight as a blog post or advisory piece. Once again, if budgets are limited, you are almost invariably better advised to produce slightly fewer pieces of greater length.
The informational and static content on your site matters, of course. However, its value is likely to be significantly multiplied by frequent additions. Long live the Deity.