Google focuses on relevancy, and as such delivering relevant results to a search is key to Google’s operations. However, it has become increasingly obvious recently that quality control is slipping in the search results in that search for relevancy. For instance, if you enter the search term “search engine optimisation articles” into the news section of Google, some of the top results that come back are auto-generated articles.
So, where does that leave you as a business when developing content? Should you go for quality or write your copy specifically so it does well for relevance on top terms? Is it more important to be top of the search engines or to create unique, high quality content that satisfies your users? Or can you find a balance?
If what you are seeking is to be number 1 on the search engines, then you can achieve this by focussing on long tail terms that consistently bring in targeted traffic, but where the competition is significantly lower than on the most obvious terms.
For instance, you may produce help guides or how to manuals, books or white papers, and invariably far less people will be optimising and bidding on the major keywords + those terms than just on the major keywords. Therefore, you can rank more highly in such searches and you are more carefully targetting people responsive to your call to action e.g. buy our book, download our white paper, read our how to guide etc.
Inevitably, you will need to prepare that high quality content to deliver to your website visitors, but the benefits should be commensurate with that cost. If you then encourage people to share your content on their social networks, bookmark it with Delicious, tweet it, create a backlink on their own website, as well as email the link to friends and colleagues, your content will spread to a far wider circle than if you just pursue top search engine rankings for highly competitive terms.