When I broke into the digital marketing business, one of my first jobs was to write a series of blog posts for a travel website. Each article was approximately 500 words long, took 3-6 hours to complete, and paid a whopping $5. Needless to say, I quickly realized this was NOT the way to make a living as a writer.
Just as quickly, I realized my ability to be taken seriously as a professional writer specializing in online content was up against a serious supply and demand problem. The demand was for volumes of cheap content and it was being supplied by a hoard of “SEO copywriters,” whose lack of middle-school grammar was overlooked for their willingness to crank out 500 words with a 5% keyword density at a furious pace in exchange for slave wages. (This was was many Google updates ago.)
Thank God for the evolution of SEO. I never compromised my belief in writing quality over quantity --in content that offered substance and clarity even in the fast-paced world on Internet marketing. And I must admit to feeling fully vindicated. These days, all anyone talks about is the need for content that delivers value (the kind of value that can’t be bought for the cost of a foot-long hoagie).
Here’s some of what they’re saying:
“In my opinion, the minimum bar today for modern SEO is a step higher, and that is as good as the best in the search results on the search results page. If you can't consistently say, ‘We're the best result that a searcher could find in the search results,’ well then, guess what? You're not going to have an opportunity to rank. It's much, much harder to get into those top 10 positions, page 1, page 2 positions than it was in the past because there are so many ranking signals that so many of these websites have already built up over the last 5, 10, 15 years that you need to go above and beyond.”
Why good, unique content needs to die
It’s no secret that Google has always loved original, useful, and well-written in-depth content. Many of Google’s recent algorithm updates have been designed to reward high-quality pages that feature clear, concise, professional writing and to down-rank pages that feature duplicate, scraped, or careless content.
What is interesting about Google’s new guidelines, however, is that they place a huge emphasis on the need for expert writers, especially on pages that Google views as being very important. While it’s clear that Google has always valued quality content, it seems as if they’re now placing an increased focus on things like authority, as well.”
Google says you need expert writers
The bottom line is this: the Internet is littered with junk content, and you’re not doing your brand any favors by adding to the garbage heap. SEO that emphasizes content for content’s sake is dead. Let's bury it and crack open something bubbly to celebrate.