I still receive junk emails offering me thousands of links for a bargain price and wonder how many websites (especially businesses) use these services. I started this blog some time ago and since I have started only writing about writing on here I wanted to cover some reasons why I tell people to take the time to write for their business or personal blog. SEO is one of those things that seems like voodoo for the uninitiated but thanks to Google (yes, for once I am thanking them for something) it is becoming more the realm of quality writers than spammy link builders.
Forget Page Rank and Masses of Link
I chuckle to myself whenever I see people still mention page rank as if it has any real value any more. Certainly, the idea behind it has some merit – the more links coming in to your website, the better your page ranking on websites. In the past just getting masses of links from everywhere and anywhere was all the rage so you would see:
- Websites with links from unrelated sites
- Thousands of comment spam links
- Link exchanges (ha ha ha ha ha ha)
- Article exchanges and ‘splogs’ (spam blogs)
- Websites filled with gibberish with lots of links
Thankfully, all of this crap may still exist and, sadly, most businesses still use these techniques, but after the Google Panda updates things have certainly changed. From my own testing I now know you can rank for some keywords and industries just by doing what Google asks – create original, quality content. This is where content marketing comes into the mix.
The Confusion Behind Content Marketing
Most blogs I read on the subject on content marketing just offer the same old crap link building re-badged. They will create one unique article, then ‘spin’ the article (a process of making the one article into many ‘unique’ articles) and then submit it everywhere that accepts any old crappy content.
Frankly, since I work with only quality, unique and relevant content I love this because it means client’s competitors are actually shooting themselves in the foot by using outdated black hat (stuff Google doesn’t like) techniques. Real content marketing (the creation of materials that will help promote a business) should only involve white hat (acceptable) techniques and should not be confused with ‘sales copy’.
Another thing content marketing isn’t is link bait. Yes, while writing posts for your business you should be aware of your keywords and make it interesting. What you shouldn’t do is just come up with an interesting headline (like ‘Read this Or You May Die’) and just fill the rest of the post with fluff writing. People want information and if they are searching for stuff about your products or related services then added website content is a chance to educate clients and customers and eventually convert them into sales.
It may take you more time to create worthwhile posts but in the end it will be much more beneficial than hundreds of low quality articles. If you are looking at using content marketing for your website (blogs are essentially a way to deliver content marketing) then you should also be using it offsite to build quality links. By all means submit ‘guest posts’ but only do it with well written pieces (these are more likely to be published) on highly relevant websites. Google will now match the website that your link is on to your own website.
For example, if you have a link to a sports website from a forum about cheese making then Google will recognise this as junk. You have essentially wasted your time, money, or both on making that worthless link. So do less posts and link building and work at posting to highly relevant sites as well as building high quality relevant material on your own website. The time of the writer is coming to the internet, and if you write well or hire a writer to do it for you then you will be rewarded more and more as Google continues to concentrate only on original, quality content.
I hope this has been helpful for any of you still looking at building links the old fashioned way. It may seem harder, but in the long run your search engine rankings and sales will thank you. If you lack the time to produce content yourself feel free to get in touch with me at Social Step Australia.