The Core Fundamentals of SEO: Quality Content

SEO Quality ContentIt isn’t surprising that there is a lot of discussion all around on SEO. As more and more of the economy shifts online, good SEO practices can make or break a business. Perhaps this is also what prompts businesses like JC Penny to use unethical SEO practices to try and game Google. It shouldn’t be surprising though – JC Penny got millions of dollars worth of shopping during the holiday season. The difference between first and second position in Google can be huge.

Which is why, you see so many techniques for SEO, “tricks” that will rank you higher in the search results. There are both the “WhiteHat” and “BlackHat” methods. Then there is the middle ground “GrayHat” methods. There are the ethical and unethical methods, there is manipulation, there is money, there is violation of Google Webmaster Guidelines. There is everything you can think of under the sun. Which is what makes ranking difficult.

It is a constant cat and mouse game between Google and webmasters. Google originally came up with PageRank, with the idea that it is not just about the keywords on the site (which is what earlier search engines used. Yea, there was a life for search engines before Google too!) but also how many other sites would like to link to it. In an ideal world, one would only link to a site if he felt the content valuable. However, in hindsight, it is easy to see how easily the system can be manipulated. What if people enter into “backroom” deals as link exchanges? Google was smart and reciprocal links aren’t as “valuable” today, so people started a “three-way link exchange”. Then of course there is the class of webmasters that buy and sell high PR ranks. There are a million things that can go on in the world of SEO.

And that brings me to the point of the article: what lies at the core, at the very heart of SEO? It is simply finding the best content. Period. It all boils down to providing value to the searcher. The way Google determines this might change from one day to another, but at the core, it is all about finding the best web pages, out of the more than trillion pages out there.

There are many tactics and strategies used by webmasters. One day it is backlinking through article marketing and another day it is blog and forum commenting. These tactics are fragile and they can change easily. After the Google Panda update, article directories were badly hit. This is in tune with Google’s idea of providing the best results to users. Without good search results, Google is dead.

So when you are building a site and want it to rank high in Google, you need to build high quality sites. This is at the heart of SEO. Read this article by Amit Singhal of Google and you will see why. Though he doesn’t go into the details, everything there has to do with content. Everything. There is no mention of linking at all in the checklist. Yes, backlinks can be very helpful but they are only a stepping stone towards what Google ultimately wants: Quality Content.

 

 

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20 Comments

  1. Sire says:

    I agree quality content is the most important facet of having a successful site, but not because of Google because if you have a crappy site it doesn’t matter where you come in the SERPS you’re simply not going to convert.

    Unfortunately for Google backlinks will always play an important role in their algorithm as it’s one of the few ways that Google can judge the importance of a site.

    • Sid says:

      Sire,
      Thanks for dropping by my blog and thanks for your comment – I appreciate it :)
      Well, you are right, linking has always played a big part with Google’s algo but don’t you think it just might change in the future? I mean, say Google decides that blog commenting isn’t really a way to judge the quality of a site, so it ignores every link through blog commenting. Or say article marketing. Or perhaps in the future it begins to take more social elements into the scene (even if not very soon, sometime soon). The web keeps changing quite often, after all. This is why I think at the core, it is about quality content. Linking is just one way Google uses to determine quality.

      • Sire says:

        Hey, I agree with you, it’s all about the content. When I comment on other blogs, dofollow and nofollow, I do it for the interaction and because I’ve noticed if you leave good comments you will get traffic from them. Backlinks are just a bonus.

        Sid, you should consider adding a subscribe to comment plugin as it will encourage people to come back if they know someone has replied to their comment.

      • Sid says:

        That’s very true. Commenting is an excellent way to get traffic and also build communities with other bloggers.

        I’ll email you regarding some suggestions I can take from you in this regard.

      • Agree with you guys. It’s good to see Google giving more weight to relevant content, rather than the ‘scraped’ sites getting benefit. It’s been a long time coming.
        You’ve really got me thinking with the suggestion that Google might one day ignore blog commenting as a measure – that’d really be a game changer. However I reckon natural interaction isn’t something that they could really ignore, is it?

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  2. I think you are right in one matter and not right in another. Of course you should start with making a good qualitative site, with good content. But you have to think about what niche you are aiming at. If it is a hard niche with lots of competitors good content will not be enough. There the links come in – in my opinion.

    So good site with good content, yes you should absolutely start with that and go on as long as the site is alive. But dont forget the links to your site.

  3. I am agree with you with that quality content is very important. i gathered so many good point from this article. Please give some more information on unethical SEO. Thank such valuable post….

  4. While link building another way to measure a site’s value, besides page rank, is by it’s domain authority.
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  5. All Google wants these days is quality content, and lots of it! They want people to naturally link to you. The days of making consistent mini-sites are over for those hoping to place well on the Google search engines but, remember, you can still place very high on Bing and Yahoo even though you are getting a fraction of the traffic.

    Many people are reporting that even though they have seriously dropped in Google’s rankings, they are placing #1 or #2 on those other search engines and for high traffic keywords, 200 unique visits a day is better than nothing at all especially when these sites used to get 500 to 1000+ uniques on Google.
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  6. I agree, quality content will always be at top of algorithm. Good quality natural back links are the key and will always be the main vehicle in driving up your page rank.

  7. There is no doubt that unique and quality content is what matters the most for a sustainable SEO. But the thing is that now it’s not that hard to get it!
    What i actually mean is why should why bother with all that black hat SEO techniques and risk to wake up one day and see your PR dropped, when you can actually get unique content from professional in reasonable prices.
    I just bought an Hourlie and tommorow i will get 10 articles for my blog!
    That practicly means that i will have unique content for my blog for the next month at least!

  8. yes, I agree that if the content is important for seo, google panda update where the only site with relevant content can only exist at the top Search Engines.

    I think the google algorithm is very useful for us who create websites with relevant content.

    thank you for sharing

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  11. Mike Kamrath says:

    Hey, I am looking at SEO as a way to provide for my family. I will try to push a crappy site to the top, if the owner pays well. I am sick and tired of being trampled on. Time to get off my moral high horse.

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