Thank you to Michael O'Brien of Search Engine Watch and Clickz.com for the interview and quotes in the eventual Clickz.com Article. Here is the full discussion and article which details my thoughts on high quality Content Marketing for improved SEO with Google.
I'm more of an SEO beginner / intermediate when it comes to the more complex variables involved. I'm something of a jack of all trades with SEO being only one of dozens of tasks on my plate. Still much to learn! However, I've been a content marketing advocate for nearly a decade and do believe in quality of page content over technical aspects. I believe it should be about creating content that searchers, readers, and viewers enjoy instead of creating pages for crawlers and algorithms. Search engines like Google should reward this type of content creation. That being said...
1) Moz recently ranked a bunch of ranking factors, putting "page-level keyword and content-based features" in third place. Its score was less than half a point from the top two (domain- and page-level link features) - Are these stats surprising to you? Why or why not?
I'm not surprised that Google has continued moving in this direction. While domain and page-level link features are still very important, it is becoming more about unique and high quality pages. Google has had to deal with billions of pages of link-building spam, copied / syndicated content, low quality content, junky business listings, inaccurate click-bait articles, and so much other nonsense. By stressing the quality, accuracy, and distinct content of a page they give users better search results.
2) Do you think content should be just as important as technical factors when it comes to rank?
Yes I think content should be just as important or more important than the technical variables involved with Google's ranking factors. I agree with many SEO experts like Matt Cutts when they say that you should write for people and not for algorithms.
3) When you think of "content as a ranking factor", what are the first things you think of?
Right off the bat I think of business blogging and article publication as even more of a necessity these days. If you want to stay competitive in search results, your website needs to be creating consistent and high quality posts to educate and assist your visitors and leads. And my very next thought is about how crucial it is to share that necessary content through social media, email marketing, and other content distribution platforms.
4) "SEO" and "content marketing" aren't two terms that are necessarily paired together all the time. Do you think Moz's high rank for content shows that maybe they should be?
SEO and content marketing should go hand in hand and now it looks like content marketers will reap more benefits than in previous years. If a business does not successfully utilize content marketing, they are essentially leaving money on the table. Businesses that aren't using content marketing to improve their SEO results need to get on board now. Businesses that are just doing the bare minimum with their content marketing need to step it up. It's not just about link building any more, but creating exceptional and personalized content that readers and viewers enjoy.
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As Always, Best Of Luck In Business To You All!
Michael J. Schiemer of Schiemer Consulting
Enthusiastic Entrepreneur & Owner of Frugal Business
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