It’s been replaced by “Original & Useful Content” rules. Let me explain…
At Google’s I/O Conference in May 2010, a panel of Googlers – past and present – conducted an SEO Site Review for a number of websites that were voluntarily submitted.
Of all the issues identified, the most glaring was content; more so, the lack of original, relevant and useful content.
Recycle and Reuse with Caution
A number of the websites that were reviewed relied on copying and pasting content from existing sites; setting up feeds from other sources and web scraping other sites for their content. The result? Recycled, reused and duplicate content. D’oh!
For those wondering what’s wrong with this, read Google’s Design and Content Guidelines; or, as I like to call them, “Google’s Commandments,” especially #4, thou shalt “Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.”
Replication is not always the highest form of flattery
A while back, I did an online search for my company’s name. I do this on occasion to see if anything good, bad or ugly has been written about us. In “geek-speak,” this practice is known as “Online Reputation Management.”
Lo and behold, I found a wanna-be SEO Writer in Kelowna, B.C. (no names used to protect the not-so-innocent) who had plagiarized an earlier post of mine. The writer in question was obviously new to plagiarism: she left my signature in the post, which is how she got caught.
Originality takes work
Creating original content for your web pages, blogs, articles etc., is hard work. It’s even harder to create original content that people want to read and perhaps even link to. But therein lays the reward. Because Google pays attention to sites that post useful, original content on a regular basis. These sites get crawled more often – a good thing – and tend to attract links to your site, another positive signal that Google notices and rewards.
I urge you to set aside an hour to watch, listen, internalize and practice what these Googlers preach by visiting _ http://code.google.com/events/io/2010/sessions/seo-site-review-from-experts.html
For those strapped for time and originality, like my friend in Kelowna, read the following cheat sheet:
▪ Think about things that make people come back to your site i.e., user generated content, user reviews, useful and original content, etc.
▪ Don’t imbed text in images
▪ Distribute your content across multiple online platforms to increase visibility i.e. Twitter, Blogs etc.
▪ Find relevant keywords and trends through Google’s keyword tool and review your server logs to find the language that searchers use
▪ Put relevant content above the fold instead of making users scroll
▪ Craft unique meta descriptions and title tags and be consistent in your messaging
▪ Don’t spam your site and/or load the footer with redundant text for the purpose of SEO; rather, write for your audience
▪ When using Word Press, always update to the most recent version to avoid getting hacked
▪ Don’t focus strictly on those competitive and generic phrases i.e., divorce lawyer. Consider the hundreds – or thousands – of alternative and more targeted phrases i.e., divorce lawyer for men in [City + Province] that people use everyday to search for your products and services
Are you ready for MayDay?
In May 2010, Google implemented an algorithmic change named – funnily enough – MayDay in an attempt to present higher quality sites in search engine results pages. In a nutshell, useful and content-rich sites will flourish. Are you ready for MayDay?
About Writing Web Words Inc:
Based in Toronto, Ontario, we are full-service Web Content Development Company that helps small and mid-sized businesses optimize their online presence through original SEO Copywriting, proven SEO Services and customized Business Blogs that attract, engage and convert target audiences.