Steve says, “Google’s Hummingbird update is the most important thing that happened in Content Marketing in 2013. These updates will make the Internet a much more interesting experience for years to come.”
Content quality will trump links
Who knows more about what you might like to look at on the Internet?
Website SEO people? Or your peers? Duh.
SEO people know how to point a hypertext link at a piece of content. Normal people don’t. Also, only a small percentage of the population manages websites. Yet links have been an indicator – the main indicator – of quality on the Internet for decades. They are a terrible measure of content value and they’ve been grossly over-valued by Google.
Google measures the numbers of links pointed at a website and that determines which websites show up on page 1 of a search. They’ve punished many of the companies who openly cheated at this, but by no means all. Even today, post-Hummingbird launch, links count more than they should.
It’s time for the opinions of regular people, subject matter experts, the people you admire, to guide you to the best content writing on the Internet with their social media shares. In the real world, this is called “Word of Mouth Marketing.” And now that time is coming.
The Internet will be more about the authors who write websites and less about the code guys who run websites. Google calls it Author Rank. Web writers will build up their credibility as subject experts (or they won’t) and their content will be ranked in large part based on that credibility.
Subjects will be more fully explored
With the Hummingbird update, you’ll more easily be able to find quality information. Why? Because the experts like Moz.com are guiding web content writers to explore deeper into what they’re writing about and to reach wider in their exploration of an idea.
When writing this way, writers will naturally begin to use more variety in their key phrases, both “long tail” and “short tail.” They will also use related phrases, just like those recommended by Google’s Keyword Planner. The result for the reader will be more informative content.
This means longer content, but not boring content. Visuals will matter more than ever because they will keep viewers on the page longer. Websites who take the lazy route and put up short content will lose out.
If you’re being engaging, you can write more length. A great example: This article at Inc.com by Jason Freid entitled “Why is Business Writing So Awful?” is 1,426 words.
1,426 WORDS !!!!
Some marketing directors will see that number and say the article is crazy long. Yet after reading it, they will likely bookmark it and share it like I have. In fact, I bet I’ve pointed over 5 links at Freid’s article. See that Google? Give that page a huge ranking!
Deep content will make the Internet more efficient
Very soon, you will search for something and the first link you click will offer such a rich experience that you will simply not need to use the “back” button to look for more. Currently, when I’m searching, I often find I have to go to page 2 or 3 to find something that offers a complete answer to my query. Why? Because web writers are being flip with their content. They’re not genuinely exploring topics.
Tonight I was reading National Geographic – the dead tree version. Later, I looked at their website content strategy. The two were not that different. Photography and page design have always been important brand components of National Geographic. I was a little disappointed in the lack of depth of their website content. But they are doing a great job of “hub pages.” These are pages that link out to wider content. The technique is also another way to make it clear you’ve got deeper content on particular subject areas. Their goal is to offer the best content and they’re achieving it.
Content marketing agencies will help, but only if they specialize
Content marketing agencies will find they need to have specialty areas. For instance, ion Leap has a huge capability in technology B2B marketing. We’re also good in financial sectors, specialty consumer foods, secondary education, and highly-considered purchases. But we’re definitely not the right choice for pharmaceutical companies, uber-trendy clothing, or cigarette companies.
Content marketing firms must be able to offer wonderfully deep content for their clients if those pages are to find their way to a high Google ranking. At ion Leap, we’re glad to recognize the trends before they arrive so we’re positioned to help.