10 May 2012

Make No Mistake, Content Is Still King…

Taking a holistic view of the recent events, and looking back to the last change in algorithm the industry has labelled the Google ‘Penguin’ update, it’s no surprise that with every new update comes a new plethora of bugs to work out. Now that some time has passed since the update, what are the notable improvements have we seen in the SERPs?

Can we say Youtube, youtube, and more youtube?

Considering Google’s ownership, it shouldn’t be all that surprising. On the positive, adding ranking gravity to videos in the search results may help balance out the search pages results with a visual appeal that’s a bit easier on the eyes…but so long as the content is pertinent and relevant to the intent of the searcher. Unless the searcher is looking for local results for phone numbers, addresses, etc., it’s usually true on any given topic that the user will be less inclined to dig through textual results when given an option to click on a video result. Videos are not only visually appealing in an otherwise cluttered search page, but more often than not, they can provide more information simultaneously from one location (ie., they can be watched and/or read – think ‘text’ videos – plus audio for listening. Hence, faster informational processing on any given subject).

So what did the ‘Penguin’ hit rankings the worst after the dust settled? Web 2.0 and article sites, just like the previous Panda update. Those that were full of cheap, plagiarised, and un-spun content. Many of these sites were basically de-indexed for being too SEO optimized. What’s interesting is that there is a very uncanny and accurate correlation between those sites which were prosperous and those sites which were quite literally annihilated. That is? Content is still king.

The correlation is in the quality, uniqueness, and overall readability of content.

From Panda to the Penguin updates (though I still prefer Google ‘Whoops!’ from my previous post), succeeding in the current environment does come down to the necessity of better content, and it always has, really. Ultimately, one increases the value of any website in Google’s eyes by increasing the value of its content.

So … any other best recommendations for current and future SEO practices?

Alongside providing stellar, high quality content, it’s also about continuous link-building, and continuous alterations in the methods and platforms used to build them upon. Keep your inter-linking to a minimum, and only using unique, natural looking link styling and structures, let it be natural.

This way, you’ll keep the overall footprint of your ranking infra-structure as ‘green’ as possible. Yes, we do stress green:)