The Internet has long been known as the Information Super Highway, yet sites which feature poor or duplicate content are serving to turn it into the Information Super Footpath.
There are of course other factors involved in this Super-Footpath malady, such as slow loading times, poor or garish graphics, and hideous web design, but on the whole it's the propagation of poor and duplicate content which is bringing down the overall standards of websites around the globe.
Make no mistake though, Content is King, and always will be.
That is to say, authoritative, well-written and unique Content is King...
as long as it's not boring, of course.
This is because what Google and the other search engines strive to return in their search results, is the relevant information which users are looking for. Face it; the vast majority of people using the Internet are looking for concise information to research a purchase, a service or a particular topic. And in the majority of cases providing them with the required information will help to establish you as an authority in your field, and will aid you in the task of turning your site’s visitors into paying clients or subscribers.
Statistics show that the bulk of purchases on the Internet are made as a direct result of ‘perceived confidence’, the level of trust which has been built between client and vendor through the client’s perception of the vendor’s web site and its content. If your site provides vital information to your visitors, you are perceived as an expert on your subject, and your visitors’ confidence in you will grow.
Look at it from your own point of view; would you rather make a purchase from a seller who is indifferent to his or her goods or one who knows them inside out?
This is where the ‘Content is King’ adage really comes into its own.
But a site’s content not only conveys information to its visitors; it also gives search engine spiders something to get their teeth into and index coherently for their respective databases. In general, the more useful information a site contains, the greater its success, with search engines and visitors alike. This is true for two reasons. A site which is constantly adding new content, be it through original product descriptions, articles, editorial content or news on a regular basis, is not only indexed by search engines more regularly, it also presents visitors with concrete reasons to check for new content on a frequent basis.
Content is King; indeed it is the driving force behind commerce on the web. These days there are millions of products available for sale on the Internet, yet very few people are purely looking to buy a product online. Most surfers are also looking for information relating to the product/service they are about to purchase.
Don't just sell...
Therefore anyone structuring their site to purely sell goods or services online, without providing additional user orientated information, is bound to face trouble on the road to search engine success, because very few visitors will reach a website purely looking for the product/service it sells. Many will also reach it through a peripheral query made while researching a product or service, rather than through an outright product search.
So, although content is king, it needs to be good content. What then, in the eyes of visitors and search engines, is classified as good content?