Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to attract, acquire and engage clearly defined and understood current and potential consumer bases with the objective of driving profitable customer action. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.
As one of the senior “web guys” out there, I have slogged through the process of getting websites to show up in search back in the “Golden Age” of the Internet. Back when the magic key was to submit the site to Netscape/AOL for inclusion in their results. I remember it taking days, weeks or months and sometimes I would email support there and yes.. a real human being would help me identify why my listing was not showing up.
Then came the overly long (IMHO) generation of the search spider. No longer could we trust the content generator to submit their site honestly and accurately to search engines, search engines had to “scour” the landscape looking for results and then listing them based on the METADATA within the pages. Ever heard of Keywords, Description, and Title Tags? Yep.. They are even somewhat relevant in today’s search but what webmasters are quickly finding out, they are not as important as they once were. Their results are dropping like a stone and they don’t know why… Many a webmaster/SEO manager has discovered that the tricks they knew back when, don’t work anymore.
Right now.. Today, August 16th, 2012 we are in this sort of no-mans land of search. Where some of the old rules apply (keywords, density, count, tags) and some of the new rules apply (unique content, comparative analysis, social meters). Webmasters and search analysts who have put their business on auto-pilot may have even missed the boat on this not so subtle transition. The 800 lb. gorilla in the room is Google, whose initiative is to fully take the old, stale, and useless results that are currently still being hosted, and expunge them from their indices. Those stale results may be YOUR website!
Google over the past 3 months has made what I believe to be gigantic steps to revamp their search algorithms to make certain sites much more relevant, and other types of sites much less relevant. For those who have counted on their website that was designed back in the early to mid 90’s and have paid for hosting and domain registration for the next 30 years and expect that site to carry them through this period they will be incredibly disappointed with what Google has in store for them. The term “Content is King” has been a trending one for the past year or so and for good reason. Websites that are not constantly updated with new, fresh, unique and relevant content will be pushed down in the search results in favor of sites that do have the capacity to be content generators. Content Marketing is the centerpiece of this effort.
In my next post, I’ll review exactly what content marketing is, how it can be delivered and how it will specifically impact your search engine results.