05 Dec 11 2:26 pm
Articles & Web Content Secret!
I've been testing some stuff with web content, article sizing, and looked at some of my search engine results in regards to web content on the sites, and come up with some crazy results.
What I've found is this (and surprisingly after discussing it with a few people, noticed that other big IM gurus are teaching similar things post-Panda update):
- Having articles of 1000+ words is best for ranking. The old 500 word article won't cut it anymore.
- Having original content doesn't mean anything anymore. Of course it matters, but it's not enough. You NEED content that is relevant to the search query, that is beneficial, easy on the ads, AND that is original.
Relevant to the search query means you need to address the EXACT issues that the keyword is suggesting for discussion. This takes me back to my school days when we had to answer English questions by "carefully reading the questions". The same thing applies here. You MUST look at the keyword you're targeting and really ask yourself, what is the visitor wanting. eg. "Buy XYZ Laptop" - If you want to target for that keyword, reconsider! Don't target for it unless you actually SELL XYZ Laptop. Why else will Google rank you first over someone who is a merchant? The same applies if someone searches for "How to get rid of acne" - actually address the issue, and give the visitor tips, steps, methods, solutions for their problem and DIRECTLY tell them how they can get rid of acne. Don't fill up the page with general crap about acne, pimples, soaps, and never actually address the keyword. It's all too common that writers (outsourced ones) just write about a topic, rather than address it. I see it over and over again on people's sites (heck I even had some of this type of content on my own sites until I recently removed it!).
Beneficial - this means the same as above, but also that it helps the visitor so they DO NOT have to go back and look at other results. Have you ever searched something in Google, only to find the page you clicked wasn't helpful enough and you had to go back and find another? Google doesn't want this for it's "customers" (searchers) and if you don't give any benefit to your visitors so they can end their search, you won't be at the top of Google in this post-panda world where human reviewers are only increasing.
Easy on the ads - the name says it all. Don't go overboard, just a few here and there is better. There are two benefits of this. 1) Google prefers less ads and more content, so it will help with your rankings. But also 2) People are smarter nowadays and we all AUTOMATICALLY block out the ads in our lives (think about how many magazine ads, tv ads, billboard ads, website ads you can actually recall that you've seen in the last day?). So you need to build their trust and then present them with a paid solution, RATHER than just bombarding them with ads, which they will simply ignore!
Original content - keep it original, relevant and high quality.
- Get more images in there, and embed videos - This is fantastic because it gets more colour on the page, but also because Google likes it. Things like diagrams are great, and videos are the way to go! If the alt tags of the graphics are similar to keywords, then it won't hurt, and if the title/keywords of the videos are similar to your keywords then it's definitely another benefit.
- Finally, get internal linking going. Yes the sidebar is good, but also get internal linking WITHIN the article to other pages that are relevant on your site. Pages of mine with lots of relevant internal linking have always gone to higher spots on Google and STAYED there even through the whole panda update stuff, so just thought I'd throw that into the mix.
So what do I do? I do exactly what I stated above, AND I now also write my own articles. For those who don't know, I also run an article writing service which I offer on here and at many other forums/sites.
But why does someone who is in contact with relatively cheap and quality writers, still write his own content? Well this was mainly the reason I wrote this post, and it's the "secret" I wanted to discuss. Seeing all the different sorts of writers out there, on Elance, Odesk, iWriter, etc. I can safely say 90% of it is just garbage. Seriously... It's crap. There are too many low quality writers flooding all the sites, and it's getting more and more competitive for the quality writers who still maintain high prices.
Now from the remaining 10% that is actually good, (we're looking at prices from $10-16 per article of 1000 words now), most are great. They offer good SEO density, the writing usually makes sense, and it's all original. BUT, in this post-Panda world, most of the writers don't offer any RELEVANCY to the keyword anymore, plus they don't do any of the other stuff I recommended.
Oh and I forgot to add in things about H1, and H2 headings/subheadings in the articles too (preferably containing your keywords).
So that's why I've stopped outsourcing, and I may go back eventually, but I know I won't be getting any quality for less than $16-20 per 1000 words. It's another reason I'll be completely changing my writing service from affordable articles to articles that RANK.
Anyway, I wanted to post this here to get some feedback from you guys here, would love to know what you think, if I'm wrong/right, or anything I missed. I might be posting something similar on my blog, so would be good to get things straight here.