After the PageRank became an important aspect of the Google Algorithm having a direct correlation to the ranking factors, there were many people who resorted to only link building as their main activity giving rise to a link building industry itself.
Well, at the very outset I would say that yes inbound links are important and yes there should be a meticulous effort put in to get natural inbound links and not all people focusing on link building are spammers.
But building links is like building a reputation and gaining the recognition for it . For building a reputation and popularity one needs to put in a lot of effort and links are earned as a part of the web journey of the site and I believe the only links that have value are the links that you have earned . The way you build your reputation in real life similarly you build the quality footprints on the web to gain the recognition by way of relevant inbound links. No amount of link exchanges and adding your website to umpteen directories and portals is going to bring any nutritive link juice to your PageRank .
After the Panda update we see many people claiming themselves to be content writers and offering content writing services. I am saying this as the no. of emails that I used to receive for link requests which were nothing but requests for spammy link exchanges are now decreasing and the no. of emails from companies introducing themselves as content writers is on the rise.
Again I would like to specify like all link building is not spam, all the content writers also do not fall in the spam category . There are some very good companies offering quality content writing as per each website’s niche content and focus . But, the real challenge again here is to separate the grain from the chaff.
There are a few questions to which we should gain meaningful answers before we start investing in content marketing or adding more and more content to our site.
Q1) Why do we need more quality content ?
Google mentioned on its blogpost when they first announced (Feb. 24 2011) the Panda Update 1.0 that
“This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”
So, yes quality content is important , but if you read in between the lines , it is not the quantity but the quality of content that is important from the user perspective. So it is not necessary to convert your site into a plethora of articles which will just add words to your site but instead give valuable information about the products and services that you offer so that the user gets the relevant info to take a decision or gets the answer to the question that he is finding and the content on your site serves the purpose of his search which made him click on the landing page of your website.
Q2) What is quality content?
As stated on one of our previous blogposts : http://www.webpro.in/understanding-and-adapting-to-the-google-panda-update-a-simple-systematic-straight-forward-approach/
What Is Quality Content?
Point-wise And In A Precise Manner The Content Reflects High standards Of Quality If the content is :
1. Trust worthy
2. Written by an expert
3. Not duplicated with other variations on the same site
4. The site can be trusted for credit card payments
5. Does not have spelling and style errors
6. The topic is in sync with what the readers want to read about
7. Is original
8. Adds value to the topic
9. Checked for quality standards to provide good UX
10. Unbiased and give both sides of the story
11. Hosted on Domain Authority
12. Is not mass produced
13. Is edited well
14. Trust worthiness related to important matters like health
15. Reflects brand authority
16. Is complete and offers an overall view about the topic
17. Stating facts or discussing the topic with insights
18. Is it worth sharing
19. Having a lot of Ads. Loses the true essence of information and knowledge
20. Is the content worth being printed
21. Is it long enough to be informative
22. Is attention given to detail
23. Is published with good UX
There is more about quality content on the following 2 links:
Q3) Can borrowed content or content written just for the sake of adding words to your site work in your favour?
If we read in between the lines of the above stated extract again then we can see Google clearly mentions that :
“…..At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”
Hence Google wants to give preference and promote authority sites i.e sites which give overall information about the industry trends, offer analysis on the relevant subject of the site, etc.
All this content can only be written by a thought leader of that industry not by people who just spin out content for the sake of filling pages. Hence identifying the right person or the right company for content writing and then selecting and deciding what content and info should be published on your site is a specialized job in itself which I think should be handed over to a very responsible person of your company as this content reflects the opinion and views of your company related to that topic as this kind of correlation establishes you as a thought leader and will help the website positively.
But, what is important to note is that building links , having your site updated with quality content and establishing yourself as an individualistic thought leader are all inter-connected and correlated.
If you share your knowledge via blogposts on your site or write guest posts and share it on social media which has a potential of being shared further it helps you in gaining quality natural links and also in the bargain gives you an identity of being an authority on the topic if it is appreciated by your readers.
If we analyze this further if you have quality content then your site has the potential of getting natural inbound links and the social media platform is the dais on which this display of quality content is possible in the form of links to your site which has the potential of further increasing the inbound links and also establish your authority and reputation on the web.
Q4) How to come up with quality content regularly?
Now, adding quality content regularly can be a challenging task but if you have a strategy then it can be simplified to a certain extent.
· Share knowledge about the topics related to your products and services.
· Write about the industry trends.
· Offer your opinion and analysis about the latest industry trends.
· Display the information graphically if possible with relevant statistics.
· Explain the graphs and statistic reports via a video.
· Publish interviews with authority people of your industry.
· Write about the developments in your company which you would like to share.
· Invite guest posts for your site.
· Be ahead of the rest in sharing news about your industry
· Carry out surveys
· Research on some topic or trend in your industry and share the content
After a proper analysis of the above points one can easily plan a content strategy which will surely be a win-win-win from the user , the search engine and the social media perspective as they all are correlated to each other.