The Changing Landscape of SEO and the Value of Content


By Jeff Williams, Fruition Project Manager

puzzle piecesMany SEO’s have been impacted by the major changes in SEO that have occurred since the beginning of the year. Whether you were impacted directly from Panda or Penguin which forced a change in your tactics or due to the widely discussed changes in the algorithms you have changed or adapted your overall strategies, the message is clear that SEO will never be the same.

We now are scrutinizing our link profiles, obsessed with link quality, concerned about reconsideration requests, wondering whether to disavow links, and trying to determine whether social media impacts search results. From the changes to Google local, a growing importance of authorship tags and rich snippets to the increasing use of mobile and the need for responsive design, there are many transformations taking place that are soon to be the new normal. This all leaves us to wonder whether Google is really leveling the playing field or simply adding a new level to the game.

Through it all, one question for many remains to be whether linking building still holds the key to our rankings. The reality is that yes quality link building remains within the inner circle of the SEO toolset. However, if you think that means article directories and Squidoo pages targeting one keyword, you may want to check the dateline of what you’re reading. It’s 2012 not 2007. The important item here is ‘quality’. The truth is that you can longer simply say. ‘I want to rank for this term’, build a lot of low quality links and expect results in 3 months. Quality link building takes time and its no longer the sheer quantity of links needed to rank. It’s time to get back to the idea of earning a link rather than buying a link and to understand that the direction of any link building strategy needs to be set up for success through good content and delivering a quality user experience.

Content Strategy to Set the Stage for Success

There are some guidelines that can help steer the direction of a content strategy. While onsite factors such as title tags, heading, good meta descriptions and internal linking are still necessary it’s important to understand that the search engines are now more likely to factor in quality of the content. This means creating content that adds value to the user experience and providing content they will read and which is not simply written for search engines. The guidelines for content Google has written since the Panda update provide a good place to start in thinking about what makes quality content.

It’s recommended to continue to frame your content around a keyword target. When creating and posting content for the site, important considerations are who will be writing it, who is reviewing it for quality and how it will be used and distributed. By ensuring that your content that has value to the user and is framed with a target audience and keyword in mind, you will garner greater respect from the search engines as well as your users.

If you’d like to learn more about how to implement a high-quality content strategy on your website, please feel free to contact Fruition’s team of experts.

Photo courtesy of Nathan M. on Flickr.

Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams is a SEO Project Manager at Fruition based in Denver, Colorado. Jeff uses his deep understanding of SEO and internet marketing to guide clients, optimize websites and ultimately improve search rankings.

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