Why Content Isn’t King

There has been hype for quite some time about how content is king and it seems to be coming back again. While I do not entirely disagree with the idea that content is king, I just do not think that it is entirely what some people are making it out to be. To give you a visual, the imagery that comes to my mind when I hear this statement reiterated is a world with rainbows where people travel through the sky riding unicorns. Now, people can travel through the sky and if you’re usually an optimist (or even a realist) we do live in a world with rainbows. If you’re completely at a loss to my point, the point is that there is some truth to content being king, but there are a few hidden details that do not entirely allow it to be king all on its own.

Is Content Really King?The Catch 22 of Content Being King
Content cannot be king if he cannot be found. Who was the last person that made use of a king from a kingdom that no one ever knew existed? If you have a website that is not popular and is not showing up on search results even if you write stellar content it will probably be by a long-shot that your content will show up solely on the content being stellar. Your really great content needs some backing and support. If you have friends that love reading blogs then that will be an easy way to share and gain some traction, but it will be difficult other wise.

Now some readers might be thinking ‘Well, if the content was good enough to begin with it would be shared everywhere and the website would gain exposure that way”. Sure, but out of the number of articles you have written, how many of them have had this spontaneous effect? Probably not all that many, especially if you are a new business. All hope is not lost though, and there is a way you can work to help your content become king.

How Content Can Become King
There needs to be support behind the content. If I had rights to this phrase SEO would be king and content would be Queen (or vice versa), because they need to work together after all. You have been writing great content, don’t let it go to waste. Optimize it to nurture the possibility of it showing up online and in search results, this way it will also fuel the potential for it to be shared widely. It also helps your website’s SEO given that you’re writing related content.

Now, there have been changes in Google that have resulted in blog content showing up on search results even though the sites are not very well known and have very low-PR (page rank). In areas where I have seen this occur, in my analysis they are almost always well-optimized or they touch on a very specific keyword whether accidental or not.

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Ways your content can be king is to do proper keyword research and to optimize that content for your target keyword. Google does not report all keyword trends, and sometimes the numbers aren’t always accurate. Your best bet is to keep track of the trends, your customer surveys, the words they use, and watch your Google Analytics account closely to catch those missing keywords in addition to still looking at Google AdWords Keyword tool. This increases the likelihood of your content being searchable. Another great way to help your content show up on search results is to knock off funky URL’s and adjust them to reflect its content. Add tags/keywords and metadata so your post can be identified and sorted too. Also don’t forget to promote posts through social media to encourage sharing and exposure. Google’s latest January 2013 update is devaluing some links that are presumed to be not reputable or high-quality and this is where social helps out your content.

I know that this idea is a huge turn from the current trend so I would love to hear about your thoughts and experiences on whether or not content is or is not king.

Comments: 5

  • Rossenllini Watson says:

    I would have to say that I share your sentiments Poeabby. I think you present a very intuitive argument against the concept of “content is king.” I’ve had a professor for an Instructional Design course to boast the notion that “content is king,” but as you clearly pointed out, it doesn’t matter how good your content is if no one sees it.

    In my opinion, I don’t disagree with your new found phrase, but to refine it in a way, I would have to say that “Marketing is King, Content is Queen.” It sort of goes with the old expression, “behind every great man, there is a great woman” so to speak.

    If you think about it, you can have a great product that offers so many capabilities, but if it’s not marketed and/or marketed well, than it’s not going to get much traction. This sort of goes with your point-of-view on SEO.

    SEO is one of, if not the primary way of going about marketing a product, which in this case is content. Still, your content has to be worth marketing, but marketing it and marketing it well through social media channels and strategic SEO/SEM tactics, should boast a good ROI for a website’s content.

  • Absolutely Agreed Rossenllini! I am glad agree in some regards. There are so many factors that go into your content showing or not showing up online.

  • Sonsoles Zuazo says:

    Love your comparison Poeabby, but I prefer just “Content is King”. There should be no reason for optimizing anything unless there is a “message or piece of information” that we want other people to get to. It is the responsibility of the Search Engines to find and index, not ours. Our responsibility, as SEOs, is to overcome the weaknesses of the crawling technologies to facilitate and speed up the crawling (technical) and indexing of our content by Search Engines. Additionally, we want our content to show up on the first page(s)/position(s) of search results pages, where users are more likely to click. Although SEO is a process that perfectly fits/mimics the marketing process and its objectives (facilitate that your potential clients can find you and then try to sell something), I think it goes beyond that. Not all websites are optimized with commercial objectives in mind.

  • Poeabby, you have a keen insight on this. I propose a modified statement…Optimized content is king. I agree with you, every king needs his court. In this case finding the correct keywords and using tools like analytics can the difference between great content and great content that gets found. Excellent post.

  • I am very happy to see your contributions! Your insights are very much appreciated!

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