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What is “Good Content” and Why Isn’t It Optional?

If you haven’t heard already, everyone in the digital marketing world is raving about “content.”

Why?

Because Google, and your target market, have made good content essential to the success of your website.  After years of revising its algorithm, Google has finally fine-tuned it to the point where websites that provide good content receive a significant boost in rankings versus websites with lower-quality, or non-existent content.

In particular, the Fresh algorithm update, released in November of 2011, gives preference to websites that regularly update their site with content.  In addition, this algorithm causes more recent stories to rank higher in Google’s search engine results pages.  For example, if you search for “president of the United States,” Google is more likely to return information about President Obama than George Washington because there’s a higher chance that’s what you’re looking for.

Let’s Define “Good Content”

So, let’s talk about what good content really is so you know it when you see it.  At a basic level, this is what Google and your users want:

  • Good spelling/grammar – Your content doesn’t have to be perfect, but it can’t be riddled with errors either.
  • Impeccable value – This is what your market wants, so Google wants it too.  Whatever your content happens to be, Google wants you to write content that offers more in-depth information than any other source.
  • Regular updates – Most internet marketers will tell you that you should have at least 2 blog articles per month, and ideally 4 or more.
  • Authority websites – Every business should have a blog, and yours should too, even if you think your business is “boring.”  Authority websites means your content should be regularly updated, and you should have a lot of it.  If you’re having a hard time writing blog articles, think about the most common customer questions you receive and answer them with a blog article.  Then, instead of using customer service phone calls to answer questions, point your customers to your blog for answers.
  • Writing so content can be read fast – This article is about 500 words, but you can read it 2 ways.  First, you can read every word, or  you can read the main idea by reading the bolded text and a sentence here and there (which is what most readers do).  By formatting your content in this way, it’s more easily read, which Google and your readers like.

What Google Really Wants

Ultimately, the main idea to keep in mind is that what Google really wants is large websites that have been around several years.  In Google’s thinking, a website with a ton of content offers a lot of value to internet browsers and if the site’s been around for several years, odds are it contributes real value and the owners are committed to doing so for the long term.

Google wants websites like this because that’s what users want – quality websites that offer solutions to their problems.  If Google returns those websites to searchers better than any other search engine out there, then it remains a thriving corporation, which is what it wants overall.

In a nutshell, that’s why content (and it doesn’t just have to be written) is absolutely essential to your survival online.

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