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Killer Content and George

Pat Marcello

Killer Content and George

Since the crackdown on almost everything that’s been going on with SEO over the two years, many webmasters are scratching their heads wondering what the heck to do to get decent search rankings. If you haven’t had your ear to the wall, you’re probably still scratching your head, too, and wondering why your site no longer gets that great targeted organic traffic that it once did.

From the many messages and hints that Google has been sending out on a regular basis, we have come to know that killer content is once again the Golden Fleece of SEO. However, it must be well-written and either informative or entertaining content that employs good grammar and perfect spelling, too.  (For those of you who hate to write or can’t write well, stick with me here because there is an answer for you, too.)

But you’re probably shaking your head, thinking that creating quality, engaging material is well... darned hard to do.

And it is.

But who reads that content (or who do we want to read that content)? It has nothing to do with search engine spiders. It has more to do with our buying public, doesn’t it?  Of course, you may just be online for the heck of it and that’s OK, but business owners are more interested in making their customers and clients happy, in encouraging them to trust their brands, and in getting people to buy. Right?

As a brand, you need to help people in your niche to solve a problem, to make them smile, and to bring them into the bosom of your brand. Why do you think Coke makes those great touchy-feely videos where there are free Cokes all around? It’s not because they want to give their product away. It’s because they want you to feel good and have that image of Coke in your mind the next time you’re thirsty.

You’ve got the content, so where’s the applause?

For the sake of carrying our premise further, let’s say that you already have some amazing content. So now, what do you do with it, right?

In 2011, it was all about “Infographics.” In 2012, it was more about “guest posting.” This is a cool way to get content for your blog, for sure, but have you tried to get a blogger to respond to your queries? It’s not easy if you’re a known commodity, right? So, let’s come up with a 2013 strategy that works and makes search engines happy at the same time.

Let’s call it “George.” (If Google can call updates Panda and Penguin, our strategy can be George.)

You see, George is bold. George bypasses the webmasters and goes straight to social content sites. It’s much easier and quicker, too.

And still, George keeps the premise in mind: Google loves quality content.

The more content you create and place online, the better off you’ll be in terms of search results placement because Google is watching just about everything you do these days. It’s more about your popularity and presence online than anything else. They want to promote people in their search engine results pages who add value to the Web.

George puts your content into sites where you can get do-follow backlinks, and no, not article directories. They’re pretty much over. But before we go any deeper, you must know that George isn’t a quick solution. You won’t see your rankings rise overnight.

George can never be diminished, though. George is strong, and withstands the test of time.   Content can go stale, it’s true. But quality content never dies. It’s stays out there, and though that content may not rank in and of itself (because it’s too old, because the technique no longer works, etc.)... George works to give you prominence! If people are reading and commenting and sharing, etc., that’s always going to be good for you.

We’re not talking about salesy, spammy content, either -- content that has 5 links, and does nothing but sell the product.  No!  That’s the last thing you want to do. One link back is fine, but more than that, and it could get you booted from the website. And Tumblr, for example, won’t allow you to sell at all. At Tumblr, link to other content that you have out there, not to your sales page or your product.

Read the site’s guidelines. With some, it’s OK to have a connection to commercial ventures. However, some sites disallow it, so be selective and follow the website’s terms of service because if you don’t, you’re pretty much wasting time.

Where are the cool sites?

How about Blogger? Yes, I know you have a blog on your own hosting account, but Blogger has a couple of cool things going for it. First, you can get do-follow links back to your site from there. Second, it’s a community, so Blogger actually helps you to promote your content there. You follow blogs, those blogs follow you back, and you make friends who make comments and so it goes. And I’m talking about using Blogger in addition to your main blog that is your own website.

But George won’t let you place one article and walk away, which wouldn’t do you a single bit of good. George keeps the content flowing and builds a real body of work on these sites, over time. You may only place ONE post a month in Blogger, but content that is read and shared on any of the social sites will still help you.

The backlink is really secondary. Though it helps a tad, Google recognizes that you’re linking from your own content, which is not effective anymore. Still, by posting as your brand, you are only helping to add that all-important VALUE to the Web.

And remember, we’re not talking crappy spun articles that you spam these sites with, either. If it ever worked, it doesn’t anymore. So every article you place needs to be really good stuff and 100% unique.

So, you create an account at Blogger, and maybe at Scribd (which is no-follow, but still worth it), and how about WordPress.com or Tumblr, too?  Of course, these mini-sites take a lot of work, and it helps to be a prolific writer.

What will George do for me if I hate to write?

If you’re not a good writer or you're not as prolific as you should be, pay to have someone write these content pieces for you. Four well-written articles should cost less than $100 a month and do you a world of good.

Or, make an audio or a video and have it transcribed. It’s much easier to write that way. Hire an editor if you have to. What you write has to make sense and be easy to read.

I’m aware that Google frowns at others writing for you, but really... How do they know? They can’t! And celebrities who are “authors” rarely write their own books, either. They tell their stories and someone else does the heavy lifting of turning the material into a book. It’s not cheating, it’s ghostwriting and it happens every day, all around the world.

So, it’s most definitely a solution. It’s one of those things that you hear from Google, kind of like how Matt Cutts said that press releases don’t do much for your SEO recently. Untrue. What he’s actually saying is that we don’t want the same content spread out all over the web.  Press release distribution is not very helpful in that it’s duplicate content.  Duplicate content is NOT what Google wants anymore, so that makes perfect sense. Still, that one link from a high-ranking press release site does help, even though it’s the only link that counts.

Hyper-Stress: ONE-of-a-Kind

Everything you write needs to be not only high-quality, but it has to be UNIQUE. That’s the key. The more good information placed around the Web as your brand, the better.

Because Google is taking your authorship into consideration when deciding whether you should be ranked in search or not, this placement of killer, unique content can only help you. Think of it as a big snowball racing downhill to smash that Honda in your parking space.

People and brands with the most clout online will also be the ones producing the best and most useful content.

Let George make you one of them?

Gotta love that George.

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Pat Marcello is President and SEO Manager at MagnaSites.com, a full-service digital marketing company that serves small- to medium-sized businesses. Follow her on FacebookTwitter or Google+. Pat’s last article for SEMrush was "Google's Fetch and Render: Why It's Important."
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Thank you for the heads up regarding Google.
Youre right Content will always be the king on the Internet.
The problem with good content that it is hard to reinvent the wheel.
Too many people cannot create useful content like this article you have written
I will return to your site to further educate myself in marketing
Pat Marcello
Robert, I thank you. Roger, stay tuned because I have some amazing stuff coming your way, every couple of weeks.

And Nick? You got it! Guitar George. That's him. I heard he's hanging with Sting these days. You might check there for your fiver.
This is one of the most enlightening articles I've read about what's working with content right now. Quality content works today and it will work tomorrow, anything less will come and go because it lacks substance. And substance is what Google wants to be all about.
Me and George are good buds. We've been writing great content for client websites and blogs and have been top in the SERPs without a ton of backlinks or old domain names. Yep. Good ol' slow and steady George, just like "Guitar George" in the "Sultans of Swing".
Wanna see George in action? Google search "seo web design" and see if you recognize anybody :)
If you see him, tell him he still owes me 5 bucks.
I thank you very much

I always take something away from your posts. SEO continues to be a moving target...become comfortable, it seems, and you get left behind.

Thanks for keeping those of us involved in e-commerce on our toes.

Robert Porter
Vvego International

Robert Porter