With the Google Panda 4.0 update released just three weeks ago, the focus on content has never been so strong. A website updated regularly is seen as having more value to users than a site that updates far less often, and as a result tends to rank higher in Google search pages.
That makes sense, right? A site updated regularly shows they care about their users, and want to keep them up to date with the latest industry news and information. In theory yes, this is true. But, have Google gone too far? Are we all now just promoting the same content re-churned over and over again to keep in line with the almighty Google’s guidelines?
What makes this article somewhat ironic is that while doing my research for writing this piece, I found 5 – 10 very similar articles discussing the same issue. Does that in fact mean we are adding to the problem? By creating content that has been produced before? But what if you, as the reader found this article helpful? Does that warrant its creation?
The goal here is to please your users, as its them who buy into your product, not Google. Having a site rank at number one in search engines is no use if nobody likes your website or product. If one person reads your article and finds it interesting, and subsequently shares it, then value has been created. Who knows where that share will get you.
Unfortunately, Google still appear to be some way off creating an algorithm that truly understands content, and scores it based on its value to the user. Rather than just its freshness, level of grammar and how spammy it reads. Though, this is certainly the direction Google are heading in, with each new update.
Follow these golden rules, to please your user and Google –
- Do your research, find out what has already been said, and say it differently. Add a new twist or angle on something, rather than just saying as someone else already has. Why not modify the article even further to target your specific client, based on age or geographical location.
- Write for your user and not for Google. Ultimately speaking your article will get read and shared far more, which is much more important for SEO than just ticking the fresh content box every few days.
- Diversify your content. Offer top ten lists with pictures, annual guides, info graphics, videos, promote special offers or free downloads on other sites. Take information you feel would be interesting and make it appropriate for your target market.
- Content updating goes much further than writing a nice blog every few days. Using customer feedback, up date all areas of your site, to make the customer experience as a whole easier and better. Panda 4.0 looks at websites as an entire entity; any content updating throughout your site is fresh content.
- Differentiate your content. For example, lets say you sell clothing aimed at 18 – 30 year old women. Why not write about this years top festivals coming up, or how to make a killer mojito. Readers have a wide range of interests, and diversifying your content wider helps engage users with different and interesting blog posts.
- Blog when you have something interesting to say. Yes fresh content does assist with search engine ranking, but continuing to produce re-churned articles will end up losing your site following and rankings.