Your site needs original, high quality content. Google is paying close attention to the content being posted and the quality therein. Produce great content and it will drive search results. Produce thin2, generic, anonymous content, and it will hinder search results. It is an easy equation to figure out and Google is already rewarding companies that are working hard to create great content.1
Google is looking for companies to produce content that is valuable to the consumer and delivers more than what they were looking for.1 There are several keys that should be followed in regards to new content.
1) The content must be original: Google is filtering out sites that use plagiarized content. This used to be a fairly common practice as an easy way to improve search results, but now Google is specifically looking for this type of behavior and punishing companies for it.3 There is no replacement for quality original content and it must be a part of every business with a serious web presence.
2) The content must be rich: It is not enough to have a simple article discussing various aspects of your business. The articles that are put up on the site should be well researched and provide visitors with a wide variety of information. This is important for two reasons: First, it is just good customer service to provide your customers with more than what they were looking for and second, Google is looking for companies to do exactly that.4
3) There must be quality outbound links: Inbound links (links that send people to your site), are important but even more important are relevant outbound links. Outbound links take visitors to useful external sites that can provide them with additional information that is not located on your site. These additional external links create new connections between companies and they add to the richness of the web browsing experience. Far from exposing a weakness or lack of knowledge, by sending visitors to a place that will best help them, you are building brand credibility and trust not to mention, Google is expecting companies to provide these links. Additionally,Google is going to be looking for proper internal link structure to ensure that companies are linking out their most valuable pages for consumers.6
4) Send Social Media Signals: Google is increasingly looking for content to be shared. The more an article is shared or re-Tweeted, the greater the perceived value of that article is. If Google sees a great deal of value in a shared piece of content they are more likely to give the site that created said content a higher ranking. While there are some flaws in this method of content analysis, it is one of the metrics that Google is using. Your content must show up on social media sites so that it can be re-shared.7
5) Original Content must be Authored: As we stated in a previous article, authorship is an important piece of creating rich snippets for improving Click Through Rates. In addition to this though, an authored piece of writing is more likely to be original and thus will rank higher in a Google search as a result. Beyond this, there is the possibility that Google might be introducing something called Author Rank9, which would be a way for Google to further rank particular writers, as in those that have the greatest influence and following.
These are just a few of issues around the need for creating new content. There are companies out there that will create automated, generic content for your site. At first blush this new content looks great, but if it is too general to be useful and it fails to improve search results, it would not seem to be a terribly wise investment. Companies need new, authored content on a recurring basis and that content should provide visitors with more than what they were expecting. If done well, this new content will create a great visitor experiences, directly improve search results, and thus become a driver of business.
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