Content marketing has shifted the focus from the previously prominent SEO techniques and changed the approach to online marketing in a drastic way. A growing number of professionals are moving towards content creation and creative content selling ways like blogging, both personal and business. This shift is not an overnight phenomenon but has been a gradual movement that the digital space has made over the years.
Brief History of Google Updates: Google implements an average of one or two algorithms per day, some of which are inconsequential, but a few are much more substantial. Their Panda update in 2011 was designed to target low-quality websites that provided poor user experience and increase the visibility of sites with lower bounce rates and satisfying user experience. About a year later, Google released another crucial update, Google Penguin. This update was more aggressive in targeting specific black hat techniques like keyword stuffing, duplicate content, and cloaking and affected the ranking of approximately 3.1% of search queries in English and similar percentages for other languages.
These effects were initially frustrating to many webmasters who were left confused about what qualified as high-quality sites and some businesses dependent on search engine traffic. However, Google continued its efforts to ultimately whip up results best suited for user interests and needs. If data on a website was not presented in a user-friendly way, it was pushed down to let higher-quality sites shine.
All these updates by Google led to a conclusive marketing technique that was best suitable for users: content marketing. The use of specific keywords and phrases by users in their web queries enforced the idea that good content was what really mattered.
The Rise of Content Marketing: Content marketing gained its popularity with an increasing number of users using keywords and phrases to search content over the web. Now, search query content marketing is a common trend, however, it has also led to an increase in unhealthy and incompetent content creation that does no good. Many marketers steal content and spin articles and write terrible posts never meant for human consumption. High-quality content can also be a problem if it is repeated and posted over and over again.
Despite its initial issues, content marketing surely seems like the future. Even if a business has minimal reliance on search engine traffic, it needs searchable content that Google, Bing and other platforms can use to direct traffic to its web portal. Content production is no longer an option but a necessity.
Looking to the Future: As content marketers, it is essential to pay close attention to Google’s gradually moving steps towards content in searches. There have been quite a few silent updates they may appear irrelevant today but are definitely here to stay. Google+, Google Authorship, and +1 bubbles are just a few of them. One can now experience increased personalization in their web searches based on factors like routine searches, location and what their friends share and like on social media.
The importance of great content and effective content creators cannot be undermined. Google Authorship allows linking content with its creator, through their Google+ profile. This helps display your Google+ profile image beside search results that include your posts. A new update from Google is supposed to drastically change the way we see results. It is expected to score content creators based on factors like quality of the sites where they write and social engagement, lending a human factor to the search results.
A knowledgeable content creator should understand the pace and importance of these significant updates and plan to include them in his content marketing strategy. Content marketing is slowly occupying a larger share of the digital marketing landscape so it is crucial for content creators to create helpful, meaningful and interesting content for their websites that can encourage brand engagement and sales.