Google’s New Panda and Penguin updates dealt heavy blows to many low-quality websites on the internet. And don’t kid yourself—their efforts to promote only the most high-quality, content-rich sites won’t be stopping anytime in the future. If you hope to maintain a good standing in your search engines rankings, it’s essential to create or revise your website so it has excellent content that will complement and reinforce the rest of your SEO efforts.
Why high quality content matters:
The days of early SEO were pretty simplistic—a simple backlink check could let you see all the incoming backlinks that either you had created or others had made to your site. The more backlinks, the higher in the search engines you could expect to rank.
While it is true that getting a large number of links from various sources is still a viable way to increase your SERP rankings, much of your success hinges on the quality of your site’s content. Why? Google needs to provide the best possible results for their users to stay on top. Their end user is the average Joe, who wants to find relevant and high quality content when he completes a search. So even though Google can’t really read, its engineers have written codes that allow the search engine to estimate the relevancy and authority of each page based on certain statistical standards.
As far as we can tell, the following content practices will help you stay in good standing with Google, and give you the upper hand in the search engines:
- Line up off-site keywords and on-site keywords.
Make sure that the keywords you use when creating backlinks are included in the relevant copy on your page.
- Don’t forget about tags, alt attributes, captions, titles, and page headers.
These are also part of the content on your page. Google wants to see your main keywords being used in these situations.
- Never plagiarize.
Besides being extremely bad form, against the law, and downright insidious, Google will seriously penalizes for this breach. To find out if anything on your site has been copied (or plagiarized) check out CopyScape.
- Write/review your own content.
Even if you have the chance to outsource your content to other writers, it’s a very good idea to write your own content in-house, especially if your site sells something. No writer knows as much about your product as much as you do, and that’s the kind of expertise you want a customer to know.
- Got content?
If you don’t have any content on your pages, it’s going to be extremely hard for them to rank in search engines. Anything is better than nothing, provided that it is relevant, unique, and contains your keywords. It’s better for you and your rankings to put something up on your pages than to wait inordinately for the perfect copy.
- Limit Ads.
If you have ads, make sure that the amount of relevant content on the page is greater than or equal to the ad space. Relevant content should be seen immediately upon reaching the page.
If you want to trace your success, request free online marketing software from an SEO company to see how your content changes have been affecting your rankings. You might be surprised at what you find, and you may even see other ways to improve your SEO’s all-around reach and effectiveness.
About the guest author: Courtenay Stevens is the founder and current editor of Monday’s Orchids, a site devoted to informative content on a variety of topics. She has a degree in English and Creative Writing, and her work has been featured on a number of prominent business websites.
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