There is a lot being said about content marketing being the new SEO, however content marketing has been around since before SEO. That said as much as people may like you to believe that content marketing is going to fix your Penguin 2.0 and all other Google algorithm updates, that is unlikely to be the case.
You may argue that rankings are important and yes rankings do matter especially if you go from page 1 to page 26. However SEO also matters and should be part of the overall content strategy. To not understand this is to not understand what Google and its algorithms measure and how this might affect your website.
Content marketing strategy, can it really help?
According to Kristine Schachinger talking about the myth of content marketing:
If you want the best literal explanation, this quote from Quora (found via Ann Smarty and Authority Labs) works very well:
“Content marketing is the umbrella of all techniques that are used to generate traffic, leads, online visibility, and brand awareness/fidelity.”
If you want the one that really gets it, then this one from Sugar Rae says it best:
“Content marketing isn’t a new strategy, it’s merely a new word.
Why … do we as an industry feel the need to invent a new buzzword for the same services every few years? We’ve been doing “content marketing” forever.
• Website = content
• Promotion of that website = marketing
Website + promotion of said website = content marketing.”
So there you go, it is content provided online and promoted. It could take the form of text, audio, video, infographics, images etc amongst other things. When released as part of your website or channel, then it is content marketing.
It’s really that simple. Again, content marketing is not new; it’s just a new buzzword.
Content marketing doesn’t replace SEO. Instead SEO shouldn’t be viewed as just search engine optimization but rather as Matt Cutts says – search experience optimization and it covers everything on the website, either directly or relationally. Check out his video below.
So through all the updates so far what is becoming clear is the following –
- Links are key to the algorithm; otherwise there would be no point in penalties, warnings and disinformation
- Authorship is important but not a key signal to separate good links from bad ones
- Google is using webmaster data to help make changes to its link strategies. Link warnings and the disavow tool are being utilised for this purpose
- Google is using categorical relevance of content down to a site and page level to ascertain where the link points to and evaluates how natural a placement is.
So how do you avoid the uncertainty of Google algorithm changes?
The simple answer – stop focusing on doing things just to rank on Google, yes rankings can be important but generating quality traffic and leads is usually the overall goal for any business website, so just doing things for the Google platform has little value beyond it.
Here is what Google wants –
- They want to promote brands or websites that people are talking about not just linking to. Co-occurrence or the occurrence of 2 terms on a page may also have value to Google. By this I mean if people write “Vinay Koshy” is a cool guy and you can read more from him on Sproutworth.com” my author bio may start to rank for the term “cool guy”. (fingers crossed)
- High quality content that gets traffic from lots of places
- Links to high quality content without ridiculous amounts of exact match anchor text
So as far as link building goes, good marketing should underpin your strategy and efforts.
- Provide and contribute great content to relevant sites in your niche. Ne off placements are a pretty easy thing for Google to pick up on.
- Link back to articles and awesome content on your site as resources in the content, not on your home page or product/service pages.
- Ensure internal linking on your website is a priority
- Watch the rate at which you acquire links. Google knows that quality sites tend to accumulate links organically and gradually over time, so sudden spikes will be only serve as a red flag with the exception of a few cases with viral implications
- Stay clear of publisher posting sponsored review and adverts with followed links
The infographic below gives a quick overview of key points that you need to be aware of with the most recent Google algorithm update.
What are your thoughts on content marketing strategy and social media content strategy making up the bulk of a businesses online presence? Let us know in the comments below.