Penguins and pandas, oh my!
There’s no way around the fact that the Google Panda and Penguin updates were a big blow to the way that many businesses executed their online marketing strategies. The move took many businesses by surprise, especially those that thought they only needed to bang out a few keyword-rich articles a day in order to stay up on the Google search rankings.
Web content now has to be more focused and substantial, featuring a minimum amount of links and a lesser emphasis on SEO. It’s Google’s way of leveling the playing field for online businesses and websites that didn’t stand a chance against bigger players before. Now anyone who can produce and market solid content in their niche has a chance at upping their Google search ranking. That’s a good thing, and the sooner you believe that the sooner you can get started on a new content production model.
Strong and engaging web content looks like this
Before Panda and Penguin, businesses could get by with a lot of questionable content. A post only needed to be keyword rich and uploaded on the right sites, and voila! Your ranking would get bumped up. But those days are over, and it’s time to recognize the power of strong content.
I’m talking about posts that engage the reader on real and pressing issues related to the particulars of your business. Strong web content is all about striking a chord with your customer base, and that means writing about topics that they will care about. As a business, you should be on top of all the current events and news alters pertaining to your field—this is the kind of information that makes for strong content.
Let’s consider an example of strong content production in action.
Say you run an online tech business that specializes in apps and software for financial management. In terms of content production, you’d want to post articles in a site blog or guest blog on related tech sites about the latest innovations in your business and in the industry at large. New features about your business’s financial management app; commentary on the financial crises in Europe or the handwringing in the US; how-to guides on money management and saving strategies—these are all completely viable ways of generating content. The point is that you write substantial material on topics that directly relate to your business model and its scope field of interest.
Where you’ll get in trouble
What you DON’T want to do is write about subjects that have no bearing on your business whatsoever. Writing filler content just for the sake of posting material online with your company’s name on it will not only get you in trouble with Google, it’ll ultimately drive down your ranking on the search engine. To continue the above example with the online tech company, let’s say that you try to produce more content by throwing caution to the wind and writing about whatever interests you at that moment. Celebrity gossip, pet care, college sports, whatever: you think that by writing about popular subjects outside of your business, more people might see your articles and follow the backlinks to your main site.
Unfortunately, the Penguin and Panda updates have done away with such practices. That example would be flagged and regarded as spam. And why would readers treat it as anything else anyway? After all, you’re a tech company writing about celebrity gossip, why should anyone take you seriously?
Success in the post-Penguin era will be defined by those businesses and blogs that produce great content about their niche for people who care about their niche. It’ll be a big change for some businesses, but you should just accept the change as another test of the strength of your enterprise. If you can master the art of content creation in this era, then your business will surely go far.
Have any comments or questions? Please let me know! Katheryn Rivas is a freelance education writer and blogger. She loves to dabble in a variety of education topics, although her main interests include online learning and trends. She welcomes your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow us!