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In part 1 yesterday we looked at how excellent content is so important for sustained higher rankings and the substantial benefits to be gained from content marketing. Following on from our look at where to publish our content, in todays final part we look at the way Google recognises how excellent or not our content is. We will also look at a couple more things we can do for increased recognition. 


How does Google know if readers love our content? 

Google looks for good signals about our page, for example, is it original content (Google has scoured the web so knows if this is copied or if there is already a ton of similar stuff already out there). Is there depth to the content or is it shallow in nature, compared to other content on this topic?  

Next if the content of our page looks good then is it mentioned and linked to elsewhere on the web? Google can see any links that come from elsewhere. If another site that Google has recognised as good quality or an authority is citing our content then that can be an indicator to Google of the good quality of our content.

How does Google REALLY know if readers love our content? 


"now that's a really nice cuppa!"

Is our content being shared and talked about in social media? What better indication of quality to Google is there than having our content spread across social networks.

Although Google can algorithmically assign a degree of quality to our content it is never going to be as good or trustworthy an indication of quality as a real human visitor who decides to talk about and share our content in their network.

Facebook, Twitter etc are essentially websites that Google crawls like any other. For the last couple of years Google has included social signals from these sites and now Google Plus in it’s ranking algorithms. Having a person say ‘actually this content was more useful to me than the site that you currently have ranked at number #1′ is always going to interest Google. It’s influence on rankings is only going to increase. 

Try to make it as easy as possible for readers to share your content and encourage them to do so. My Social Media sharing buttons are just there to the left if you’d like to give them a click! Well Done

Google has published a list of quality signals that it’s algorithm endeavours to discover to assess page quality.

And here is a video produced in December 2010 where Google acknowledge the influence of Twitter and Facebook in it’s ranking algorithm.

The question you should perhaps ask is not “How can my website rank higher in Google?” but “Does my presence online contribute to an overall beneficial web experience?”

Content Marketing sounds like hard work

You may be tempted to ask “Is there not an easier way?” And certainly in the past it was possible to shortcut the process, by buying or exchanging links, creating networks of shallow content sites and so forth. Many of the websites that used these techniques have had a shock, finding their ranking plummet and traffic dissolve as Google gets better at differentiating true quality from illusion.

… our ability to detect poor quality links, or spam links, is greatly improved. Our capabilities in these areas are only going to continue to improve further over time… the main thing is that people should avoid looking for shortcuts. In competitive market areas there has always been a need to figure out how to differentiate yourself, and nothing has changed today. Think about how you can create compelling content or a compelling experience for users. Matt Cutts (Google)

So is it hard work? Well it perhaps depends on your point of view. Is it harder to spend time & effort trying to outwit Google with ‘shortcut techniques’ that may work today but not tomorrow. It’s certainly easier to buy online ads such as Google Adwords and get an instant presence on Google. But that only lasts for as long as you pay. It may take a little more time and effort but quality content can be listed in the free search results  every day for years to come.

The good news is that their are a growing number of Content Marketing specialists (such as ;) ) that are able to help you. Help you or your team find the right content ideas, produce the content and do the leg work in getting it published around the web.

I hope you found this particular content worthy of attention. I tried hard! If you would like to remark in the comments below or share using the buttons on the left that would be really appreciated. Thanks.

The sooner you begin a content marketing approach the sooner you will begin the path to a quality web presence, sustained higher rankings, increased web traffic, stronger customer relationships and more sales. What is stopping you from starting today? Give me a call.

 coffee image courtesy of Jurgen Lisson

About the author: Pete Stevens: I work with businesses to get the best out of their website; maximise visitors and maximise sales. I live with my wife and 2 teenage children near Bradford & Leeds in Yorkshire UK. I enjoy golf, football and curry mmm!

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