- 1 Content is king, really?
- 2 So what is website content?
- 3 Website content and Google Panda relation
- 4 In-depth information in web pages
Content is king, really?
This is a very popular phrase in SEO community that “content is king”, is it really? Prior to 2011, you could say the content was important, however, there were other factors equally important particularly backlinks. Even a few black hat SEOs used to claim they will get top rankings for ‘top’ and ‘hot’ keywords without having much content related to it.
There were loopholes in search engines including Google that those black-hats were able to exploit and you could see many results in search with less quality content in the higher position as compared to high quality or some say ‘killer content’. However post 2011, after Google panda update rolled out, that aims at the quality of website followed by ‘webspam update’ or Penguin, those theories started fading away.
As of today, one can claim that content is the real king in achieving good rankings in search engines especially Google. Although there are many other factors, around 200 in Google search engine.
So what is website content?
The content of a website can easily be categorized in two parts:
- Text in a web page.
- The multimedia part.
Text in web page
The textual information in your web pages is very important. It includes the introduction to your website, products, services, articles, news, customer reviews, comments, About the website or company, contact etc. You may put text into images or videos, however, this text is related to be in HTML.
This part of the content needs to be the real quality that search engines can read and will use it as the ranking factor. The text should have headings, paragraphs and it should be properly formatted. The visitors of the website should find it easier to read through the information.
The multimedia part
The other part of the content in your web pages is multimedia. It includes:
- Images –including info-graphics.
- Animations – like gif, flash etc.
What search engines expects from your content
As such, we mentioned in a tutorial how search works, we generally take the case of Google search engine as it is the main market player. What Google search engine expects from your website content is:
- The text of your web page should be clean, informative and unique from other websites.
- The information should be credible that the users if they want, can share with others.
- If this is an article, it should be complete and cover different aspects about the topic.
- The content should be interactive by using images like infographics, videos etc.
- Text should not have been stolen or copied from other sources.
- It should not be spun text i.e. you have taken a paragraph from other website or source and just use synonyms of different words and lost its sense.
- Information should be user-centric rather written for search.
- You should include keywords in your text but do not stuff it – keyword stuffing. That means you should not repeat keywords again and again in your text in a way it looks illogical from user-reading perspective.
- If you use images then use alt and title attribute as well to let the search engine know, for what purpose you have used that image. As such search engines cannot read text inside the images. By adding title/alt tag, your images may be searchable through Google image search as well.
It also includes better user experience by a good user interface of your website, however, this is not the part of this chapter. I will cover this in a separate tutorial.
Website content and Google Panda relation
Google panda update is a complex algorithm – one part of which addresses the website content. The panda aims at presenting high-quality websites on top of the organic search results in Google search engine. There are other aspects like user interface, ads etc. but panda mainly focus at the quality of content.
So if your website content (text particularly) is
- low quality
- does not add value to the topic as compared to found in existing websites.
(Each of these is explained below)
Then your website may be in trouble, as for as panda is concerned.
The text of your web page is taken from another website that already exists is referred as duplicate. It does not mean you cannot use some part of another site’s text to compliment in your web page with your ‘long’ article. You can use citations, link it to the main source or enclose this in inverted commas. However, most of the text should be unique.
The text of your web pages contains grammatical mistakes, spelling errors. The sentences do not make sense. Also, if you are using spun content i.e. taken from another source and you simply changed words with synonyms might be taken as low-quality content. Properly audit your content even after publishing.
Adding value to existing content
If you are writing something that already exists in various websites, for example, e-commerce products with products descriptions. You should add some value to pre-existing information in order to get better rankings like adding more information, some reviews etc. depending on the niche you are writing.
In-depth information in web pages
Your web pages should contain in-depth information of the topic you are publishing. The shallow or incomplete information related the topic may lead to a demotion in SERPs for desired keywords. Remember that, the search engines have become very ‘intelligent’ over the period of time. You may ask how they would know shallow or in-depth?
One of the aspect that search engines may use is LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). In a broader sense, it means if you are an expert in a topic and writing for a website then you will know synonyms related to key terms for that topic. A hired writer with good writing skills may be an expert in his/her writing area, however, how much he/she knows about the topic itself?