The hot topics of conversation currently within the search marketing profession is the importance of content creation and whether it has surpassed ‘pure’ search engine optimisation (SEO).
Firstly, many SEO diehards cling to the notion that when it comes to search marketing, the key is and will always be the way in which the content is presented, not so much the content itself. This harks back to a golden age when SEO was in its infancy and search engines, also in their early stages of development, relied on ‘signposts’ provided by the structure of a website. Thus the metadata, structure and navigation of a website ruled supreme.
Metadata (the key tags are Title, Description, Alt Tags) were seen as the main way to ‘direct’ the search engines as to how they should index the site. Ironically the keyword tag, became the most cynically abused by webmasters who thought that packing-in keywords was the secret, quickly fell out of favour and still languishes today. These tags are still important, but they have dropped to the Championship League, more of a case that they must be done properly (as a good housekeeping exercise), rather than being the main decider. And that’s the same with structure and navigation which has to be correct; a part of the natural building block of SEO.
But, undoubtedly these days, firmly in the Premier League is content. This is the way to the hearts of search engines, not SEO anymore. Search engines now have sophisticated algorithms which put content into the hot seat and judge whether it provides the website with a rewarding user experience. In other words, does the user gain from being in the website; are they educated, edified, or provided with added value.
Content is king is the mantra espoused by digital marketing executives, but there are still webmasters out there that have a sneaking suspicious that when it comes down to it, it’s neither SEO, or great content that is the key. They reckon that it’s purely bums on seats. That numbers talk and attracting the traffic (which is tough from a standing-start), is the key to good indexing and that supposed clever algorithms are nothing but visitor counters.
So that brings us around in a complete circle. How do you get those numbers up that attracts the search engines? Why, good SEO and content of course!