Is Content REALLY King?
It is said that on the Internet, Content is King. Is this true?
There are numerous arguments on the Internet both for and against this statement and some are compelling, but I can say without reservation that this is absolutely true for two good reasons.
First, Google built their entire Search Engine on the notion of finding quality content, worthy of presenting in the search engine results pages (SERPs). If Google were no longer interested in quality content, they would not have introduced their Panda Update a couple of years ago, for many savvy programmers managed to find loopholes that allowed them and the companies they built to exploit those gaps in the Google Algorithm. The Panda Update closed this gap and brought another revolution in the way we surf the Internet.
No longer could websites just place great content into an optimized web site, then build tons of links so as to increase their page rank with a view to getting the best search results. Now these same web sites had to maintain fresh content AND find ways to keep their viewers actively engaged. If Google were no longer concerned with great content, they would not have gone to such lengths.
Experimental Proof That Content IS King
The next reason I know that content is still vital to bringing traffic to a website is the result of an experiment I conducted, using this very web site.
When I first started this web site, I began it as an experiment in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies. Over the course of the first year it was up, I placed every manner of writing into the site, without regard to the “rules.” I wanted to find out what worked and what did not.
What I discovered was very telling.
Look at the screenshot from this site taken on September 4, 2012.
Ignoring the Home Page, which will generally outrank all others, notice the top ranking article is about James Holmes, the Colorado movie theater shooter. This was a sensational article that was written within a half-hour of the event. The Search Engines picked it up within 20 minutes of writing it and it remained a hot topic for days. This drove the stats way up for this article and teaches much.
The other sensational article had a similar background. The Miami Zombie was written within minutes of the event and was picked up just as fast. The third sensational article had the word, Vagina in it and this brought enormous traffic to that write-up (yes, sex sells).
But the traffic for these died off nearly as quickly as it rose as can be seen if you compare the next image.
The first image shows the history for all time and the second shows the history for the 30 days prior to September 4, 2012. Notice how all three sensational articles had slipped down in the ranks.
Now notice the articles about criminal justice topics. These all remain consistent drivers of traffic to the web site. These articles all had one thing in common: They were “A” Essays written for college courses. These “quality” writings continue to draw traffic to this site, even though these are no longer here, but have been moved to a more appropriated platform.
The point is this. I have and have shown you proof that the Search Engines seek quality articles and appear to prefer quality on the level of University writing. But here is something else worth noting.
These articles were drawing traffic to this site long before it received page rank nor had ANY inbound links. In fact, when I first began placing these onto the site, traffic every month was low and was mostly from friends and family reading what I had placed into it. Most of the writing consisted of poetry, short stories, and blogs about whatever.
The next image will drive this point home, for notice when traffic jumped considerably. In mid-January 2012, I placed the first set of these articles into this web site and traffic jumped. When I noticed that traffic began to drop a bit in March/April, I added more along with doing something else.
Fresh Content is a Better King
Just as there are good kings and better kings, good content caused sharp increases in traffic. However, in April 2012 I did something else. I began to optimize and update the articles that were getting the most traffic.
The original articles were placed into the web site as is…these were mostly “A’s” but some were “B’s” and what I noticed was that the “A” articles received more traffic than the “B” articles. I even placed one that I did not polish and received a “C” on…it never showed up in the search results.
However, I then took these same articles and based on information that I had carefully researched, I optimized these pages for three specific keyword phrases that kept recurring in my stats. I optimized these keywords with between a 2.5% and 3% keyword density and guess what? Look again at the chart. Beginning in May, traffic began to climb like never before.
What We Can Learn About Content From This
What we learn about content is this. Great content gets traffic. Fresh content gets traffic. Sensational content also gets traffic but it does not last. Great content that is both fresh and optimized gets sensational traffic.
I frankly do not care what any other so-called experts claim. I have proof that Google is all about creating the best search engine in the world for locating great content. Sure, you can try to trick the system as many did a few years ago prior to Panda, but eventually Google will close the loopholes because the company strives for excellence in their SERPs.
There is no way around great, fresh content, except to place simply good content on a site and settle for less traffic. Anything less and your website is more like a pauper than a king.
If you need great content for your web site, Oakes Writing Consultants offers a wide variety of quality web site content here.
Or if you prefer, we can teach you how to create your own great content here.