Before I get to why the idea of “content” needs to be thrown out of a helicopter, let me take you on a whistle stop tour of SEO. Back in the good/bad old days, you could get your site to rank by simply copying and pasting the site that was number one for the term you wanted and buying a few more links than they had. Allegedly.
As google got smarter and the stakes got higher, the tricks got more and more complex. Then, in April 2012 Google rolled out their “Penguin” update. Penguin, in a nutshell, meant that it was possible to damage your site by building crappy links. This was significant because up to then the worst a poor quality link could do was not help you.
Building links still worked, it was still a vital part of SEO but it now carried risk.
This left a lot of companies in a quandary; if building crappy links is out, and there’s not enough budget to build decent ones what do we do?
The answer came out of the now unbearably smug whitehat SEO community – “just write great content”.
Okay. Great is subjective. And hard. So that bit got dropped and the mantra became “just write any old rubbish as long as it hits the word count”.
Which brings us to where we are now. Companies are writing content for the sake of it, and not because they have anything to say. Armies of content creation executives are pumping out word-paste to a brief, word count and a deadline, often about subjects they know precisely nothing about. But as long as the company website gets two five hundred word articles each and every week then everyone is happy.
Well, everyone except anyone who has the misfortune to read any of this bland, soulless mulch.
You know the type of article I mean, you’ve read them;
“18 surprising new ways to say the same thing we said last week!”
“Expert opinions on something bloody obvious!”
“You won’t believe this slight rephrasing of this same, tired point!”
Anyone who lands on content like this will bounce. Trust me, I’ve seen enough Google analytics accounts to know.
If your business’ footprint on social media is a daily stream of tedious articles people will just tune you out. They probably won’t unfollow you, they just mentally screen out your posts and the one time you do write something worth reading they’ll skim over it.
So stop it. Stop rubber stamping out content for the sake of it. Write one decent article not fifty half arsed ones. Write about what you know. Write something useful.
Quality > quantity.