Introduction to Content

“Great content has to be the foundation of any good site...”

Content refers to all the stuff (the "contents") that your site contains. All the interesting or useful stuff that makes your site what it is. Without content, your site isn't much of a site, so in the SEO industry, we say content is king.

Wording

Validity

  • Basic sentence, paragraph & article formatting

    Search engines want to see plenty of normal sentences, as opposed to meaningless lists of keywords that often get placed on pages in an attempt to draw in lots of searchers by matching lots of search terms. Keyword stuffing is a very out-dated black-hat SEO technique. Read more about keyword stuffing.

  • Advanced spelling, grammar & vocabulary

    The more properly written your sentences are, the more likely you've spent time to ensure that they're useful to readers. Search engines don't want to send traffic to sites which look like they've been written by someone who isn't taking things seriously. Sloppy wording can be hard to understand.

Efficiency

If you get straight to the point, then search engine users can efficiently find what they're looking for. Some authors waffle on a lot, to stretch their quantity of content, which can be good for SEO, but not if stretched too thin. So try to find the optimum spot, between efficiency of wording and quantity of content.

This is an accessibility issue, but it's also a factor of association. In our association section, rather than calling it efficiency of wording, we use the term keyword density which is very commonly used in the SEO industry.

Formats

Variety

If your site has a wider variety of formats, then search engines will feel more happy sending people to it, because it's likely to cater for more people's needs. Some people like to read a lot, and some people prefer video. Imagery is always a good additional to a text-heavy site. And audio is good for people with visual impairments.

Consistency

It's no good having a site full of videos, and surprising people with the odd page of endless text. If you know where to expect what you want; be it text and basic images, large pictures, or more interactive media; then you can find what they're looking for much more efficiently. And search engines, after all, are there to help people find what they're searching for as efficiently & effectively as possible.

Stability

Theme

If one minute your site is about one thing, and the next minute it's dedicated to an entirely different theme, then search engines will be reluctant to send you traffic. They never know if you've changed things around since last time they crawled your site, and they don't wanna send people to a site that's completely irrelevant to what they've been searching for. So pick a theme and stick with it, to help people find content relevant to their search.

For more detail about theme (not just for content stability), see our section on association which basically means the same thing.

Structure

Site-wide

If your sitemap gets turned upside down on a regular basis, then people (and search engines) who've already learnt their way around may soon get lost for directions. Spammers are always turning things upside down, because they've always got something to hide. So make a sitemap, and stick with it.

Page-wide

Search engines want to trust that the content they saw at their last visit will still be there when they send people to your site. It's ok to have portal pages, where links & snippets of content get changed, so long as the general theme remains and you make sure most URLs retain their content without serious structural upheaval.

Quantity

The more content you have, the more chance you will have something to match what someone is searching for. And so long as the content is all based around a common central theme, it all helps to strengthen your rankings in search engine results pages for searches about that central theme.

Breadth

A broad content base, all relevant to a central theme, can bring lots of vague matches for long tail search terms and a generally strong match for the central, underlying theme.

Depth

Focusing your content with more depth & less breadth, to concentrate on a specific, specialist theme, means you can ensure stronger matches for relevant niche searches. And you can maintaining just as much strength in ranking highly for the general, underlying theme; so long as you haven't compromised the overall quantity of generally relevant content.

Originality

“Think about how you can move more towards that high-value-added, unique sort of site...” — Matt Cutts, Google

Sites which are full, page by page, of unique and original content stand a good chance of standing out from the spam. But if your site is full of content copied from other sites, or if your site has the same sentences duplicated over lots of pages; then search engines will penalise your site a bit, by throwing some pages into the Supplimental Index, and reducing the rankings of your site in general.

Read what Google thinks about duplicate content and sites which have little or no original content.