Of late I have observed an interesting development. Reputed SEO forums, blogs and websites talk of content marketing and content writing more, rather than simply covering the technical and newsie aspects of SEO.
For instance, this article on Search Engine Land talks about some untapped content marketing assets for B2B SEO. This is just a small example I came across this morning but the trend is persistent and during the previous few weeks I have come across many content marketing and content writing-related articles and blog posts on primarily SEO forums and blogs. Why is it so?
The reason can be historical as well as contemporary. Historically content has always ruled the roost although many would like to disagree. Everything on the Internet is content. Everything search engines like Google crawl, index and rank is content. Whenever you are trying to improve your rankings you are trying to improve the ranking of your content pages. So overtly or covertly it is your content that is evaluated and ranked by the search engines. It is your content that is shared and talked about on social networking and social media websites. So far this has been an unstated truth.
Of late Google has been quite aggressive and it is heavily penalizing websites and blogs that use “illegitimate” ways to improve their search engine rankings. Many of these tactics and methods blacklisted by Google have been a staple of SEO companies. Back links and keywords-centric content – once the most acceptable ways of improving your search engine rankings – if done wrongly can plummet your rankings irredeemably. Many small businesses have had to create new websites from scratch. Engaging an SEO company has become a danger rather than a prudent marketing decision. I’m not saying all SEO companies are like this, but most are.
So what is the safest bet? User-focused content writing.
The Google guidelines say create content as if search engines never existed. Create content, write content for your users. Make your content writing as user-friendly as possible. Focus on the keywords not because you want to improve your search engine rankings, but because you want to convey the right message. For instance, my website and my blog is about content writing and content marketing. You can safely say that these are my keywords. There are two ways I can use my keywords.
Conventional way, the “SEO way” is to create lots of content using these two keywords in various combinations. It actually used to work. I’m not saying whether it was right or wrong, it is just unacceptable to Google. So use the right language, use your keywords but only contextually, wherever they are really needed.
This also goes for content pages and blog posts. Don’t just create content to cover keywords. Create content to serve your audience. Whenever you are creating a new page or a new blog post ask yourself, is it really needed? Does it add value to my website on my blog? Will my visitors really find it useful? Am I just creating it because I need another combination of my keywords?
If the answer to the last question is yes, don’t publish it. It can be counter-productive. You can actually lose your search engine rankings if you do that.
Since most of the conventional SEO has become a double-edged sword and since quality content still reigns supreme most of the reputed search engine optimization companies are focusing more on content writing and content marketing rather than simply selling risky SEO services.
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