Lately I’m seeing a very disturbing trend that I’m going to address here and now. This trend is super bad advice, it’s not accurate and the worst part is that it’s something that literally everyone knows to be false but people keep writing these ridiculous articles about it in hopes to get some attention or clicks or something.
What is this horrible lie?
People – some of them being supposed ‘experts’ – saying that “the theory that ‘Content is King’ is a Myth”.
Hogwash and Poppycock.
No. I’m sorry but content, is in fact, King. Deal with it.
I’ll explain why but be forewarned, this topic seriously rubs me the wrong way so I may come off as a bit harsh on those spreading this lie.
Why? Allow me to refer you to the Smokehouse SEO tagline:
‘The World Doesn’t Need More Terrible SEO.’
If Content is Really King, What are All Those Articles About?
They. Are. Clickbait.
Plain and simple.
Realistically, everyone in the industry knows that content is a crucial ranking factor for Google right now and the foundation of every single other one of your digital marketing channels.
Before I go further, I’d like to directly address those that spread this nonsense:
Here’s a song for you. Please listen while you read the next paragraphs. It will add to the ambiance.
You know you’re lying. I know you’re lying. I know this because every time I click one of these articles to see what kind of shenanigans you think you can pull to gain traffic instead of writing quality content, without fail – after rattling off stuff about fixing your tech and getting backlinks – your main advice is always:
“Well, you do actually have to write content but don’t just write a lot of content, but write a lot of quality content!”
Really? You don’t say! Here I was thinking I could just bash my face against the keyboard, post whatever comes up and suddenly I’d be ‘number one in Google’!
Come on, man. You know most people are just going to share your nonsense based on the headline instead of clicking through and that’s why you all do it.
Your articles are the Taboola of SEO. You want us to think that you have the ‘one weird trick’ to rank that isn’t content driven. And you never do. Because it doesn’t exist.
You are clickbait and you know it.
Sorry, not sorry.
How is Content More Important than Technical SEO?
Stop right there.
I never said it was more important than Technical SEO because that makes it sound like I’m saying Technical SEO is pointless.
Far from it. Technical SEO is absolutely critical. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you can write the best content in the world that solves literally every searcher’s problem ever and it won’t mean a thing if no one can find it, your page takes five hours to load or your entire site is blocked by your robots.
Great content without great technical SEO is like building a mansion on top of a garbage dump.
That being said, let’s take two websites that both have amazing technical SEO set up. Fast load times, redirects are in place, canonicals, the whole nine.
Then let’s say one of them updates their on-page content with useful, reader-centric articles, product descriptions, images and more and the other one hasn’t updated their site in about four years and that was when they got the manufacturer’s standard issue content for their products.
Who do you think is going to rank? Who do you think is going to have higher bounce rates? Do you think Google isn’t going to see all this and take this into account?
Also, realistically, from what I’ve seen from my years doing this, unless you decide to relaunch your site like every year, there’s only so much technical SEO you can do. Once you’ve got it, you’ve got it unless Google changes something or comes out with another standard like AMP or PWA or something like that to drive your devs up the wall so make sure you’re complimenting your tech with content.
How is Content More Important than Backlinks?
Slow down. Didn’t say that it was.
Backlinks, as much as I absolutely loathe them, are the second most important of SEO and you absolutely must have them.
I’m not even going to tell you how you should go about getting them (because if you get a Penguin problem, don’t blame it on me) but let’s take a look at something:
Say you own a popular site or blog or news outlet or something and one day you get emails from two different websites requesting possible backlinks. You go to both sites to determine which one you think is worth linking to and you see that one of them has nothing but spammy, short form “keyword optimized” (read: keyword stuffed) content that doesn’t really help anyone or answer anything people want to know and the other one has useful, long form content organized in a way that is easy to navigate and doesn’t degenerate into a commercial for itself. Which one gets the link?
That’s what I thought.
Listen, you need links as much as you need content but to get links, you need to make something worth linking to – and then promoting it on literally every single channel you have.
How is Content Going to Help Me with Rankbrain?
This will be short and sweet since I’ve talked about this already in other articles so here goes:
- Rankbrain wants relevance to searcher’s intent and queries.
- If you don’t have good, useful content, you’re not relevant to anything.
- If you’re not relevant to anything, people will bounce off your page.
- You keep on sending these bounce signals to Google. Rankbrain is sad. Watch how fast your site tanks.
- Write good content, you minimize your bounce rate, searchers are happy and you send those signals to Google.
- Rankbrain is Happy. You rank for queries and impressions go up.
That really should be self-explanatory.
Yeah but That’s all SEO, How Important is Content for my Other Channels, Though?
With the exceptions of a few like referral (maybe!), you don’t have anything if you don’t have content.
Think about it:
- How will you send out an email blast if you don’t have anything worth reading?
- What are you going to do on Social Media if you don’t have anything worth posting? Dynamic ads alone only do so much until you’re that ‘no name, begging for business’ company.
- You like lower spends and higher quality scores on Adwords? Then you should make that landing page relevant with content.
The Bottom Line:
Look, you need good content for every aspect of your digital marketing. There’s no getting around it and there’s no avoiding it. Stop reading these ‘one weird trick’ nonsense articles. These people are either writing clickbait headlines that don’t match the advice in the article itself or they’re just trying to sell you something.
While it’s 100% true that you can’t just churn out garbage article after garbage article and hope to rank, you will literally go nowhere if you’re not writing your own original content – or at least paying someone who knows how to write to do it.
It’s quality over quantity, of course, but did anyone ever think it was the other way around?
That’s like writing an article saying, “Air is a myth! If you’re standing behind a bus huffing fumes, you’ll still die!”
The next time you see an article saying they’re ‘Busting the Content is King Myth!’ just look at that the same way you would look at one of those electric Abdominal exercise belts from the 90s or those commercials for diet pills that have a huge asterisk next to all of their claims.
There is simply just no substitute for good, quality content that helps searchers.
It’s just that simple.