The search industry needs to embrace content properly
There is something slowly coming to a head in the search industry; the diverging view points of traditional вЂ?techвЂ™ SEOs and the new breed of content marketer. The industry needs to embrace content and help brands deliver stories to their customers.
You are always going to have differences in an industry that changes as quickly as search does; every good, professional practitioner will have their preferred way of doing things that generates the necessary results.
Tech SEOs are used to stats and often have a computer science background; they are used to managing computer code issues; identifying problems and fixing them, sitting back to enjoy the fruits of their labour. They also like automated вЂ?problem solvingвЂ™ programs вЂ“ networks and devices that do a lot of the work for them with a few clicks. They view online as a place of technology and gizmos, not an environment where real people interact. They come to search engine optimisation with the same view as a search engine spider.
Google wants you to think like a publisher
This was great when the search engine spider acted like the automated piece of script that it was originally designed to rank websites by particular factors; it easily fitted in with the traditional seoвЂ™s вЂ?problemвЂ™ solving way of doing things.
Today Google and other search engines are spending an increasingly large amount of time trying to tweak their algorithms to act more and more like normal web users (albeit on steroids with a sophisticated algorithm behind them).
The search engines are looking for more than just inbound links (though they are still important); they are looking for things like Facebook likes; time spent onsite; Twitter shares; Google+ likes; social bookmarks; frequency of website updating and an entire cacophony of other different factors.
It is far harder to hit on one overriding theory and to gather the necessary data that is responsible for success, which is what Google wants. They donвЂ™t want anyone with a computer science degree and a guidebook on how search engines work to be able to ranking number one for any keyword.
Content is at the heart of online marketing
To succeed online these days it is far more about creating value in your brand through the publication of content that your target readers will like; then amplifying the content as much as possible by sharing it on social networks and guest blogging to relevant blogs. Content is now at the heart of all digital marketing initiatives for this exact reason.
As weve blogged about before; in short, marketing principals that have applied offline for a generation, but were largely discounted as irrelevant, or at best old fashioned for online marketing,В are now very much to the fore.
There is no automation for success. It is something many traditional SEOs are finding hard to come to terms with.
Content SEO marketers however, often coming to search with a background in journalism, marketing or social media “ they know all about engagement, building an audience and telling brand stories. A good content agency can help brands develop a unique tone of voice and tell a brand story. Obviously as more and more brands look to become publishers, questions do exist about whether or not they will get their content strategy right.
But this is where an external agency unencumbered by brand messages and corporate-speak, can help brands think like a consumer to create a great content strategy that works for both search and social.
The sooner the SEO industry as a whole comes to grips with this fact, the better it will be for everyone, brands, online marketers and, ultimately, the end user of search engines.