The recent major Google algorithm updates, particularly to Panda and Penguin, have dramatically altered the SEO and Digital Marketing landscape. Google has, justifiably, sought to shift the focus of firms away from creating thousands of spammy backlinks and towards spending more time on giving their website valuable and relevant content. In terms of content itself Panda seeks to penalise sites which engage in negative content practices such as keyword stuffing or duplicating and scraping content purely for SEO purposes.

Quality Content Importance

It has been a constant battle between SEO marketers and Google, one trying to sell cheap quick-fixes to boost page rankings, the other striving to create a utopic world of perfect search query relevance. With their most recent changes it has now become incumbent on every interested party in Digital Marketing to steadfastly observe the new rules as laid down by the grand arbiter of Palo Alto. There are becoming fewer and fewer dens of digital malpractice where black hat marketers can hide from Google’s all-seeing eye, the war has been won, it is either work or wallow.

So content has become king…

…but what does that mean for those engaged in Digital Marketing or firms seeking to organically grow their rankings in-house? In essence they have been given a rather healthy hint that in order to reap bountiful yields of impressions, interested visitors and quality leads one must not only plant the initial seeds of great design and quality, relevant content but also tend the site with regular informative updates, blog posts and fresh content, while endeavouring to avoid flooding one’s online space with over-eager or confusingly unrelated additions. Growing your business online is about producing appropriate, regular and illuminating content and the rewards, with the Irish online economy set to be €21.2 billion by 2020, can be incredible.

(One should also seriously consider the consequences of a lengthy analogy before committing to it!)

However the move to superior content should also be welcomed by the vast majority of internet stakeholders. For consumers they are finally able to search for a firm or product and be provided with as much or as little information as they wish to consume. Available across a variety of media such as text, video and infographics, and supplied by marketing arms who seem to have finally woken up to the fact that their online presence is their single greatest sales tool and thus should be representative of that fact rather than seeming like a never-developed theme park, a huge name over the gate with nothing inside the walls but unfulfilled potential and broken promises.

For marketers and individual firms content is not just a vehicle for SEO and something to be arduously approached like a school punishment exercise but rather it is a golden gateway. A well-written and engaging article places you in front of your customer, it is a 2-minute sales pitch with no pressure. It’s not even about the sale, it is about informing and building your firm or product awareness. It is about reinforcing your brand message and demonstrating the reasons why you or your product are better, brighter, faster, cheaper, tastier or more exclusive than the competition and if a consumer is going to be making a purchase now or any time in the future then you and your content are what is going to spring immediately to their mind, like a nostalgic vision triggered by the recurrence of a presumed-forgotten memory. If your content is relevant, powerful and enjoyable it will stick and be remembered.

Content is not only a necessity but it is an opportunity and one which should be embraced and nurtured, it is the future of digital marketing and with Google acting as an unwavering timekeeper the future it seems, is now.