We’ve all heard that content is king. But is it? There are an awful lot of sketchy, unhelpful and just generally lame websites out there that seem to creep into the top page of search results at times. In a nicely informative White Board Friday recently over on SEOMoz, Rand Fisher broke down the Google Panda update that has caused so much concern among SEOs and web-site owners alike. The verdict? It’s a huge step in the right direction.
SEO: It’s not Black Magic
For much of its brief history, Search Engine Optimization has been viewed as some sort of secret art—and in some ways, it still is. Keyword density, link building, meta tags, all these terms that SEOs throw around willy-nilly are often only gibberish to the layperson. And while these—and other techniques—remain important, what the Google Panda update really means is that they all serve one master: quality content.
Quality Content Is Good for You…
As the end user of a web page, you could care less about keywords or meta descriptions. You want to know if the page you are visiting has what you are looking for. And while good design and easy navigation can help you stick around for the first few seconds, it is relevant, well-written content that will help turn you from a visitor into a customer. Such content is the only way you’re going to know whether the website is offering what you came there to find.
…And It’s Good for Google
As Google constantly refines its algorithms, its ultimate goal remains the same: to provide the best, most relevant search results. Content has always been important, but link farms, keyword stuffing, and other black hat SEO techniques could take a bad page to the top. With Panda, this is becoming more difficult. The same sort of quality content that appeals to you now appeals more than ever to Google. What does this mean for you? That you’re more likely to find what you’re looking for, and more quickly.
Does this imply that SEO isn’t important anymore? Quite the contrary—but it does mean that great copywriting is more important than ever. No one outside of Google knows the algorithms they use (and if someone tells you they do, be very wary). But we do know that with Panda, our King Content is not just a figure head, but is becoming an authoritative ruler. And hey…it’s good to be the king!