It’s harder than ever to be a content producer after Google’s “Phantom Update.” A tweak to the search algorithm changed the way businesses are thinking about their blogs.
While it’s not directly related to Panda or Penguin, the goal of the update and its effect on SEO is still the same – Google is putting a large focus on quality content in its search rankings.
That just leaves one question: What does “quality content” even mean?
Google has remained silent on the update, so content producers will have to wait a while for a definition. Websites like eHow, WikiHow and Answers.com and sites like them have seen fairly significant drops in traffic. HubPages lost 22 percent of its web traffic in one night.
Only one thing is clear: messy, low-value content can spell the end for any website. Here’s the trick to avoiding this – stop thinking of visitors as users and start thinking of them as readers. Here are a few tips to help ensure your website is producing great content for visitors:
Take a human approach.
The biggest takeaway from this update should be to write content for readers, not a search engine. It’s important to remember that there’s a person typing in each search query, especially for businesses. Now is a better time than any to mix it up with longer pieces of content for blog posts or shorter descriptions on product pages.
It’s time to publish smarter. Think of what happens afterward—the goal should be to get visitors to read pages from head-to-toe, take what value they can from it and share the link with others they think will be able to enjoy it or with those who will make a purchase. Make readers laugh, cry or feel empowered – anything goes when it comes to page views and shares.
Make it easy on the eyes.
Carelessness can bog down likable content. Proofread posts for spelling errors and grammar mistakes before publishing it. Getting creative with headers and formatting keeps your hard work attractive. It’s a cold truth, but pretty blogs get shared more than messy blogs.
It’s important to remember that content does not mean copy. Videos, photos, podcasts, infographics and even maps can be a major draw for new visitors. Multimedia content can break up your content as well as bullet points or different typefaces. While good writing is the backbone of any website, don’t let it be the only pillar to rely on.
Take the time to come up with great blog post ideas. Fill an informational niche within the industry that engages with visitors and reflects well on a brand. While the update does punish some websites, it is pushing the majority in the direction of producing higher quality content instead of publishing points with little use.
While diversity of content is important, posts get the most value at the time they are released. Being timely with current events or with seasonal changes can bring in new readers and build up a great reputation.
Get creative with what to write and how to write it. TV blogs are not the only ones to blog about TV. Including an anecdote from a recent customer experience or relating your industry to another can be a great place to start getting out of a content rut.
More importantly, write with purpose. Create content with the intention of creating pages of the same caliber again and again. Make it original to stand out from the crowd. Visitors will know what to expect, and will keep coming back for it if it’s worth it, so make content that’s worth it. Consistently builds trust, and trust builds reputation.
Google’s “Phantom Update” may be the end of low word count, how-to content, but that’s not a bad thing. Don’t get stuck with traditional content strategies and invest more time in how to write smarter.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Google Continues To Attack Low Quality Content With Phantom Update
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