“Is SEO Content Different from General Content”. I think this is a great topic to run a debate with writers and SEO’s. Oh! How many answers can I expect actually?……. I am a victim of such a debate and finally they asked me “What is SEO” “How the content has to be for SEO”? Then I was stuck, my mind was blank and I have to shut my mouth. Do you know why???
Because it is hard to explain SEO to an amateur.
Oh I lost the point from where I started. Do you think there is any difference between SEO content and general content, If Yes why??? And If No why??? My answer is “NO” but for proving this point I posted a question in Quora and to my surprise I got replies from famous SEO personalities to SEO Gurus. Carson Ward, SEO Consultant at Distilled replied:
Content has different goals, which can include the following:
Direct sales: Obvious – most pages on retailers like Amazon.
Branding: Content that establishes the brand highlights the strength and sticks with the tone of the company. Companies that focus on branding end up with sites that reflect their brand. A fun tone/brand leads to a fun site, where companies like GE and P&G end up with really professional (boring) sites.
Links: The content that generally works best for acquiring links are pieces that writers and editors will cite. It could be an infographic, a piece of research your company did, a news-worthy item, awe-inspiring picture galleries, etc. What works best varies by the type of site you’re trying to get links on.
Social shares: Content designed to be shared socially often offers a “quick fix” of something funny. Also best if interesting, useful, and emotionally
Customer service: Resource and help sections usually accomplish this goal. Content can take the form of video, FAQ, or step-by-step guidance. Sometimes other sections of the site address timely customer service issues.
News coverage: Press materials and releases are the most common form of news-seeking content, but it’s no uncommon to see announcements on blogs, or news-related content that also aims to get links.
Some people still think of SEO content as keyword-packed content written around a specific keyword and variations thereon. That kind of stuff doesn’t work well anymore. For most long tail keywords, there’s already a piece of content out there. Modern-day SEO is about making better, more useful content, and getting people to share it.
“SEO content” in a modern context may be best defined as content that is made to get links. It can also accomplish several of the other goals. For example, content that is designed to get links is often (but not always) also well-suited to get attention on social networks.
I disagree with the notion that you should just create good stuff. That’s only one part of it. You’ll accomplish the goals of more organic traffic if you focus on building content that content creators will want to link to and then seeking awareness with that group.
You can see the entire discussion here.
From his answer it is clear that “SEO Content” is no more a “keyword-stuffed, low-quality, cheap content” and we should not differentiate it from highly “researched content”. This doesn’t mean that Content cannot have any keywords, but it comes in a natural way. The main step in improving the website ranking factor is to ensure that it contains good quality relevant content with keywords placed appropriately and it appears naturally.
Usage of keywords, platform, speed, hierarchy and page structure are still a means to optimizing content. The issue is whether you’re UNNATURALLY modifying your content to focus on SEO or if you’re NATURALLY producing content that people will share and search engines can read. If we had a choice with our customers – we’d rather they write great content. A fantastic page or post will STILL get ranked for the keywords that someone wants it to. The best case scenario is to do BOTH. We’re not saying abandon good SEO, we’re just advising people to worry about their audience first and optimization next.
In the new SEO world you don’t even need the keywords in the article body to rank for a keyword. The best thing is to write a great post, users sharing it naturally and adding their comments, generating traffic from social networks, the post gets noticed by Google and then Google rearranges its search result page to make space for the new engaging content.
Eg: For the keyword “SEO Guru” the top result on Google is Mani Karthik’s post 25 SEO Gurus You Should Follow on Twitter, even though he used the word SEO Guru only once in the title of the post and it doesn’t appear in the body of the post. Here you can check out what Mani said about this How I rank NO.1 on Google for “SEO GURU” with no SEO!
The quality guidelines of Google clearly says:
Quality guidelines – basic principles
- Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
- Don’t deceive your users.
- Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
- Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.
Everything and Anything we post on our website is for Users and not for Search Engines. The actual competitor in SEO is “Our Content” Vs “Competitors Content” quotes my colleague Ashwin Kumar (@ashwinatwork).
The two videos here talks about how you can create quality content which improves engagement:
Creating great content that performs well in Google search results
- The video clearly describes how great content helps in SE rankings
What is the ideal keyword density of a page?
- In this video Matt Cutts clearly describes what is keyword density? Is it important in SEO? and how to dispel all the misconceptions.
I think it is good if I mention the names of some websites which were affected by panda update initially. Google’s Panda update affected low quality sites.
Mainly article websites has been affected by the Panda update of Google because of their extra “focus” on low quality, keyword rich and over optimized content.
Small advice for the writers
Writers: You are doing a great job, spending lot of time in creating quality content. Kudos to you guys!!! But before going to start off a new project always remember that you are writing to attract and engage users and try to include keywords naturally.
Before concluding let’s have a word about “Content Marketing”. In these days we frequently use the term “Content is King”. Some people took it wrong. They assume that content marketing means generating lots of content with some even writing 3 to 4 blog posts a day. To me content marketing means generating great content that engages my target users. The marketing in content marketing is also often misunderstood. It is not about just sharing your blog post on Facebook and Twitter. To get noticed your content should be promoted in other relevant websites. Let people discover the content by using services like Outbrain.
Thus I arrived at a clear conclusion on “SEO Content” –
Quality Content + Genuine Sharing + Natural Links + Traffic Signals = WIN = SEO Content.
Hmm, Is my blog post worth sharing
I heartily welcome your suggestions and doubts. Please feel free to add comments…………….