Tiffany Houkom

All Content is Not Created Equal in the Eyes of the Search Engine

content creation meme

Image Credit: Econsultancy

Consistent with everything online, SEO tactics and best practices are evolving quicker than Taylor Swift is moving on to her next boyfriend. SEO trends are similar to fashion; a popular, widely used tactic could lead to first page positioning one year, and be considered spammy the next, just as the craze of Crocs fizzled out faster than it arrived.

With the ever-transforming world of SEO, there’s one thing that every website owner should live by: if you’re developing content simply to have more pages on your site, you’re already behind the times. To kickoff the new year in style, make this must-do SEO resolution to yourself: remember that while content is key, newsworthy, sharable content is a must.

Why News is Worthy of Your Efforts

As mentioned above, if you think that developing new pages for your website alone will help you gain popularity in the search engines and social media, think again. Creating content simply to have more information on your site is “so 2012”. All content created should be newsworthy and shareable. Is your story fresh? Does it have an impact on a large number of people? Be sure to ask yourself if your story fits the following seven elements of newsworthiness to help determine whether or not people will find it interesting enough to read and share with their friends.

  1. Timeliness
  2. Conflict
  3. Impact
  4. Visibility
  5. Proximity
  6. Bizarreness
  7. Human Interest

Focus on What’s Popular

If you ever find yourself unable to think  of a good topic to develop content for, see what other people are talking about on the web by visiting Google HotTrends or viewing the Twitter Trends box. If you’re a local business owner, find breaking news and trending topics in your area by visiting the Twitter Trendsmap. In addition to drafting content around popular trends, find articles on topics relevant to your industry that have high reader engagement/feedback and shares. Use the structure and key elements from these types of successful articles as a blueprint for writing yours. Remember to write your own content, and only use these successful articles as a guide to write yours.

Co-Founder of social media tool BufferApp, and avid guest blogger Leo Widrich states that there are certain types of articles that perform very well. Widrich claims that data-driven articles, and list posts (“7 Reasons Why”) are always top performers. When beginning to write new content, listen to your audience to determine which types of content they engage with, which types of content they are not that interested in, and adjust what you’re pushing out.

Expand Your Reach

Developing solid, intriguing newsworthy content is great, but if this content isn’t being exposed to a large audience, then your efforts could be going to waste. Guest blogging is a great way to increase exposure for your content, as well as your brand as a whole. Widrich claims BufferApp acquired over 100,000 customers in less than a year largely due to his avid guest blogging efforts. Sites such as MyBlogGuest and BloggerLinkUp are great to help writers dip their feet into the world of guest blogging. Once you’re more comfortable with this practice, Widrich recommends reaching out to the editors at larger sites to encourage them to pick up your content. While guest blogging can lead to success, Google’s Matt Cutts warns the negative impact of pushing out low quality content in an effort to build links. When writing guest blogs, always be sure to avoid thin and duplicate content, as well as article spinning.

Don’t Forget Coding

In late 2012, Google launched the news keyword meta tag in an effort to help publishers increase positioning for articles that do not contain the main keywords in the title of their piece. Below you will see what this small snippet of code looks like.

Meta name=”news_keywords” content=”keyword 1, keyword 2, keyword 3”

Even with the increased likelihood of gaining better positioning through the use of this code, the adoption rate among top publishers is fairly low. Search engine Blekko reports that only about 5% of the sources within Google News use this tag. Whenever your releasing a new press release, article or blog post, be sure to take advantage of this useful piece of code.

With the new year comes even more changes in search engine optimization, so be sure to start the year off right by developing quality, sharable content, rather than creating content just to add new pages to your sitemap. As always, be sure to check out 90octane’s blog to stay current with the latest tips, news and trends in the world of digital marketing!

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