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    Is Great Content Enough?


    36 SEO Myths That Won’t Die But Need To
    Apr 15, 2010 at 6:43pm ET by Stephan Spencer

    Great Content = Great Rankings. Just like great policies equals
    successful politicians, right?

    Stephan Spencer is the Vice President of SEO Strategies at Covario. Formerly the founder and president of natural search marketing firm Netconcepts (recently acquired by Covario), and he is also the inventor of the GravityStream SEO proxy technology, now rebranded as Organic Search Optimizer. He is also an author of the O'Reilly book The Art of SEO along with co-authors Rand Fishkin, Jessie Stricchiola, and Eric Enge.
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  3. Philip@SearchBenefit.com
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    Originally Posted by WhiteHatSEOMktg
    Great Content = Great Rankings. Just like great policies equals successful politicians, right?
    Well, Stephan has a point there. If links are votes, then content needs its own electoral campaigns! Simply put, those who might need the content need to be made aware of it, hence the need for promoting it.
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    Is great content enough?


    It depends on your definition of great. In my definition it very often is enough. But don't confuse great content with great writing. Link bait takes many forms, from a provacative picture, to a controversial political statement. With all that said, the full answer lies in the fact that until you have establised some authority, you will need to promote your great content.
    Originally Posted by WhiteHatSEOMktg
    36 SEO Myths That Won’t Die But Need To
    Apr 15, 2010 at 6:43pm ET by Stephan Spencer

    Great Content = Great Rankings. Just like great policies equals
    successful politicians, right?

    Stephan Spencer is the Vice President of SEO Strategies at Covario. Formerly the founder and president of natural search marketing firm Netconcepts (recently acquired by Covario), and he is also the inventor of the GravityStream SEO proxy technology, now rebranded as Organic Search Optimizer. He is also an author of the O'Reilly book The Art of SEO along with co-authors Rand Fishkin, Jessie Stricchiola, and Eric Enge.

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    PhilipSEO and KernelPanic left nothing to explain more.

    Greatness of a piece of content depends on the acceptance of it in the net.
    Just check: http://www.seobook.com/archives/002340.shtml

    Although it is very old article, but still some of the points can be taken to develop "Great Content" nowadays also.
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    @ KernelPanic

    I think your signature pretty much sums it up!

    Of course you do have to make some people aware of the site to get it rolling, but if you have genuinely produced something good that meets peoples needs above other web sites then you have the makings for a great site.

    The importance of web site quality, of which usability is a subset is very important in maling the great features on a site stand out.

    You could have the best content in the world but no one would see it if you had an ugly slow loading web site.
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  11. Philip@SearchBenefit.com
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    Right, there's content and content, it's a question of what's in what body part of the beholder. The arts are the opposite of science. For what it's worth, I know a few things about literature, which to my mind offers the very model of what "great content" might be, and here I see too often that people don't know great content from the crack of their arse. Not so in mathematics, where everything stands or falls on proof. No room for whoredom in math, because you can't fool anyone.

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    Phil, I really like your insight that what counts as great content in different fields is going to vary, i.e. what works for literature isn't going to work for mathematics. I'm wondering if that can be expanded a little bit to include different *types* of writing.

    What I mean by this is, would people agree that what counts as great content in a blog isn't the same thing as what counts as great content on a professional news site? There's been a lot of controversy on this topic for years now. Is the difference a matter of standards, or is it really a qualitative difference? Or both? Or are we looking at a spectrum?

    And to clarify (or perhaps muddy the issue), there are lots of other kinds of writing as well (i.e. how-to, criticism, reviews, etc).

    Sorry if this sounds a little scatter-brained. I guess I'm just saying that great content isn't always like porn ("I know it when I see it") but may depend on context and other factors. That's something I hadn't fully considered before.
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    Originally Posted by KernelPanic
    It depends on your definition of great. In my definition it very often is enough. But don't confuse great content with great writing. Link bait takes many forms, from a provacative picture, to a controversial political statement. With all that said, the full answer lies in the fact that until you have establised some authority, you will need to promote your great content.
    I just had to comment on your "But don't confuse great content with great writing" line from personal experience. I'm chiefly an editor here (though I also write, of course). I edit content on SEO Chat and seven other web sites that publish articles anywhere from once a week to five times a week. Many of the articles cover topics that are far more technical than SEO -- programming in various languages, typically.

    These people really know their stuff; I can tell that much even though I don't program. But in many cases, although the content is great, the writing isn't. Hence my continued employment. I'm not dissing the writers, you understand, and never would. English is hard enough when it's your first language, let alone second.

    I'm just using that as an example -- great writing and great content ARE different. But if you have great content, that's half the battle. The other half is presenting it well enough for readers to be able to use it.

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    Very well stated Terri. The point I try to make is that you don't necessarily have to be a great writer to create link bait. My fear is that junior SEO types will get discouraged and think that if english in not their first language, or they are just not skilled at writing then they can't creat good link bait. Some of the best link bait I have see has been "content" other than articles.
    Originally Posted by terriwells
    I just had to comment on your "But don't confuse great content with great writing" line from personal experience. I'm chiefly an editor here (though I also write, of course). I edit content on SEO Chat and seven other web sites that publish articles anywhere from once a week to five times a week. Many of the articles cover topics that are far more technical than SEO -- programming in various languages, typically.

    These people really know their stuff; I can tell that much even though I don't program. But in many cases, although the content is great, the writing isn't. Hence my continued employment. I'm not dissing the writers, you understand, and never would. English is hard enough when it's your first language, let alone second.

    I'm just using that as an example -- great writing and great content ARE different. But if you have great content, that's half the battle. The other half is presenting it well enough for readers to be able to use it.
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  19. Philip@SearchBenefit.com
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    SEOmoz has read our mind! Some of the big guns are discussing this very subject. I felt inspired to chip in a few of my own wisdoms (and plug SEOchat as usual).
    Last edited by PhilipSEO; May 18th, 2010 at 12:03 PM. Reason: typo
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    Nice link Phil. I found Hotchkiss's observation that "Search is rapidly growing beyond relevance as a metric of success to usefulness" to be particularly thought-provoking. I think one of the implications for this is that tools for doing things online might start appearing more in the SERPs.

    An example off the top of my head (which also illustrates an earlier comment in this thread from KernelPanic about not having to be a great writer to create great link bait): say someone is searching for a home to purchase and they're a first time home buyer. They're not sure what factors to consider when buying a home. Would they be better off with a lengthy article that explains it all, a checklist, or perhaps a tool that they can interact with that helps them narrow things down based on some questions (i.e. if they're very handy and enjoy doing that kind of work, they might be more interested in a fixer-upper)?

    Any of those could work, actually. It depends more on the person and how they digest information best. And all of them should appear in the SERPs...because if they're done correctly, they all count as great content. Mentally, for me, it's a little like what web designers do when creating a site, separating the presentation layers from the content layers.

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