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Thread: Content is NOT king!

  1. #41
    Senior Member ADAM Web Design's Avatar
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    Content is important. Content is very important. Sites that succeed generally have good content.

    But...is it "king"? No.

    Exhibit A: The hidden web, or deep web. A very large percentage of content (usually accepted as the majority of content) is inaccessible via the search engine route, either directly or indirectly via hyperlinks from various results.

    Many of these "hidden web" sites contain reasonably high-quality content, moreso than the spammers that get in, but aren't visible simply because there's no easy way to get at them.

    Here's a classic example:

    http://216.89.218.233/downtownkids

    This was a site I did recently for a daycare center, on behalf of an ad agency.

    Is there content there? Yeah, there's some. Not a lot, but a couple of pages. Certainly more content than a scraper site, I would say.

    Would there be issues in getting this site indexed? Yes, there would. And I know some of you SEO types would cringe in horror at this, but it's very much by design. Without getting into too much detail, daycare centers in Ontario have certain limitations as it pertains to space and the number of kids allowed in the facility that are individually assessed. In the case of this particular agency, the number of kids allowed isn't very high and they don't have the funding for future expansion (they need to max out the daycare center first, roll their pennies, and possibly expand uptown from there.)

    Yes, I could have put info into the alt tag of each "content" section to ensure that it could still be read but I was specifically asked not to.

    So the "content" is not king. This site would never get found in SEs (although it's set up to at least be indexed, should the client ever need to change their mind...by the way, the site's on its own dawt com but I can't link to it for ad agency type reasons).

    In this case, content + offline-only marketing plan + ensuring that the right amount of traffic, no more, no less + using the website as a means of reiterating their primarily-communicated offline message = king.

    Many web hosts in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) employ the same types of tactics; they advertise in various offline channels, mostly because their pricing and service is so subpar compared to their global counterparts that they don't want to end up "overexposed" and deal with the resulting negative feedback.

    There are quite a few websites besides hosting companies and the downtownkids website in the GTA, although the latter is the only one that I know of that has a legitimate reason for the design and development tactics employed.

    So yes, content is important, but if your marketing plan doesn't work for you, then your content is pretty well wasted.

  2. #42
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    You have to have a good idea, something unique and different, that makes it relevant. But that's not enough, the idea has to be viral, people have to start telling other people about your site, independant of your own marketing efforts.

    100% with this.

    Getting someone to visit your site from a search engine is no big deal (heck, you can always pay for it). But getting a visitor to keep coming back and to recommend the site to their friends...that's why content is king.
    content is king + information is power...if you knwo how to use it

    wouldn't you link this post? here you go..good content gets links..

  3. #43
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    Some definition is needed. When we say content is king, are we saying it is king of SEO? England? The jungle? ROI? the Universe?

    Like anything else content is mega important for some aspects of web development and of less relevance with regards to others.

  4. #44
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    Content Is Not King To Google

    I agree wholeheartedly with the premise of this article and will take it one step further. Content need not be relevant AT ALL to rank highly in Google. For 2 years now, including post Jagger, Google has maintained a DEAD LINK in the top 5 - 15 position for a very competitive search term (Google returns 4.5 million results on this single word term). And Google knows it is dead! Google only displays the URL (no title or description) and no cache, yet Google keeps it in this prominent position.

    Google uses an old link to rank this site. Link contains this single word term. The link page has not been updated since 1996 and has a high page rank. Search term is only found on this page on this link. This speaks volumes about Google's search algorithms.

    Now tell me who here believes Google thinks content is King???

  5. #45
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    Content need not be relevant AT ALL to rank highly in Google.
    Agree. But highly ranked content does need to be highly relevant for search engines like Google to remain relevant to users. Put a dead link(s) on most Google SERPs and people will start looking elsewhere. Put a majority of dead links on every search engine and people will avoid using search engines.

    One dead link is does not make this case.
    Design Crux - Hidden Content

  6. #46
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    Example of quality content

    My mom wrote a book about chastity, sex and relationships. I created a website for my mom and have placed the whole book online in html pages and pdfs. The content is well written and obviously related to chastity. Does it rank #1 in Google, MSN or Yahoo for chastity? No. Why? Because it doesn't have the link popularity that other sites have.

    Content makes for a nice foundation for SEO efforts, but it won't do it all by itself.

    If you had ten books about chasity, all well written and relevant, and html optimized, how would Google decide which was most relevant? Google can't go
    by the content alone or the html. They would have to go by link popularity or offsite influences to determine which was most relevant.

  7. #47
    WebProWorld MVP incrediblehelp's Avatar
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    Re: Example of quality content

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_S.
    If you had ten books about chasity, all well written and relevant, and html optimized, how would Google decide which was most relevant? Google can't go by the content alone or the html. They would have to go by link popularity or offsite influences to determine which was most relevant.
    Sure we are all discussing what is MOST importnat Content or Links, but hundreds of other factors can greatly influence if you rank or not.

    How long has the domain been online?
    Is it on a spammy IP?
    Does it have its own IP?
    What are the quality of you IBL's like?
    Are you using basic SEO principles on your website?
    Is the website built so that is is easily indexed by all search engines?
    etc...

    For this discussion we are just talking about what is in fact the most important one (King) of hundreds of factors...or if their is even one King at all.

  8. #48
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    Re: Example of quality content

    Quote Originally Posted by incrediblehelp
    For this discussion we are just talking about what is in fact the most important one (King) of hundreds of factors...or if their is even one King at all.
    IMO, links are the single most powerful SEO tool right now.

  9. #49
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    You cant get content out of links, but you can get links out of content. That would suggest content is the more important of the two.

  10. #50
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    "One dead link is does not make this case."

    This is not an isolated example.

    The fact that a dead link using a competitive search term can exist in a search result for well over a year (and still exists) says a lot about Google search algorithms.

    Google states that it will not remove a web page from its index if there is an external page actively linking to it (unless the owner specifically asks for it to be removed). Google knows that it could not index the content - ergo it has zero content weight in the algorithm for this example. Considering all the factors that must go into this algorithm, the fact that a zero content weight can be listed that high in a serp tells me that Google puts little value in content.

    Now I agree 100% percent with you that content SHOULD BE KING. That's what the user experience is all about. It is frustrating to be presented search results that make no reference to the term or topic that the user entered, particularly when there are thousands of pages whose content does reference these terms.

    Google however very often puts out search results where the search term can only be found in links to the page and it acknowledges this when presenting the cache with the search terms highlighted.

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