Living in a post-Google Panda world, I’ve been thinking a lot about content marketing, what it means for those of us who write it every day, and clients who purchase it.
For true content marketers, the challenge is balancing the needs of well-written content that sells while making sure search engines, and thus, customers, easily “find” your content and read, buy or subscribe.
Before Google Panda, a wide gulf existed between those who wrote marketing content and clients that bought it. Post-Panda, this gulf has narrowed. and suddenly we’re all on the same page — pumping out great content is paramount.
Why now? Companies large and small have all felt the impact of Google Panda — a seismic shift and series of changes by Google from February-July that rewarded sites with good content and lowered ranking from poorly written, spammy content farms.
For content marketers, Google Panda has meant one thing — more business, hopefully. Really, Panda is what content marketers have been screaming about all along anyway — a good website STARTS and ENDS with good content.
And now, websites need more of it — well-written blogs, articles, press releases, website content and online marketing collateral — to maintain page rank in an attempt to dominate the search engine beast that is Google. This is a good thing if content is what you do for a living. It also marks a colossal change in thinking: Too often, content was an afterthought; it was ALL about the design or functionality and content was a distant second.
Now, and rightly so, it’s all about content, and that oft-used phrase, “Content is king,” really is true.
My how things have changed. Now, clients are chomping at the bit for great content, because they know they need it. Sites have either taken a huge hit in page rankings due to poorly written or duplicate content or they are fighting like rabid dogs to maintain the page rank they have.
And they desperately need good online content to keep it. Finally, they get it.
For years, all the things that made content marketers cringe — poorly written, spammy content, sites with loads of ads, and variations of what amounted to keyword stuffing with single and plural versions of keywords — were rendered virtually useless. In the past, these poor content marketing practices were often seemingly rewarded.
Example: There was no logical reason that EHow.com –which some claim is nothing more than a content farm (Full disclosure: I have written for eHow in the past) — would rank higher for certain illnesses than authoritative medical sites such as The Mayo Clinic or even WebMD.com.
That all changed with one fell swoop in February, when Google began the first of its Panda updates.
I’m just glad that the Google powers-at-be are finally listening. The “lowly” content marketer finally got some due. Now, what took so long?