Search engines rely on a variety of signals to determine how relevant your webpages are to any given search. These signals include, but are not limited to, keywords found on the page, incoming links, outgoing links, social shares, and more. While content is not the only factor affecting search engine optimization, it does play a role in several important ways. 

Content Quality

A few years ago, "content spinning" was all the rage with some content writers trying to game the search engines. They'd use special software to "spin" existing text into new text by replacing words with synonyms. More often than not, results were horrendous. For example, if you took a sentence such as "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" and spun it, you might get this result: "The breakneck nut-brown silver fox capered over the remiss mongrel." Gibberish! Search engines quickly adjusted their algorithms to screen out poor quality content.

Because content quality is so important to search engine users, it's equally important to search engines who want to remain in favor with users. Thus, content quality should be important to your business. There are no shortcuts. Take the time to compose thoughtful, informative articles and blog posts. If you need help with grammar, spelling, or punctuation, either brush up on your writing skills or work with a professional copywriter to improve the quality of your content. If you are too busy to give your writing the attention it deserves, then you may decide it is time to outsource your content writing.

Content Length

While there's a lot of debate about the perfect length for an article, webpage, or blog post, one thing is for certain: "thin" content is out. In other words, you can't expect a series of ten 50-word blog posts to do anything for your SEO. On the other hand, a single 500-word blog post could draw quite a bit of traffic. Your content needs to have some meat to it, and length is one way for search engines to measure that. 

Content Authority

Search engines want to present authoritative, topical content to their users, not fluff. Thus, the more authoritative and topical your content is, the better. A Search Engine Watch article, discussing Google's Matt Cutts' comment about algorithm changes focusing on content authority, stated:

Google is going to try to determine more between the site simply being popular and the site being a topic authority.

For example, if your website is about heating and air conditioning, you can demonstrate authority by building your site around relevant heating and air conditioning topics. Stay focused on your topic and do not stray into irrelevant topics.

Another way to demonstrate authority is to include links to or cite authoritative pages. When you do this, you are building authority by association. This helps search engines to recognize that you know what you're talking about because you're citing an authoritative source.

Keywords

Finally, the words you use help tell the search engines what your site is about. If those words happen to be identical to the terms search engine users use, all the better. With a little effort, you can find keywords to bring traffic to your website. However, keywords alone don't guarantee a match. If you have a bunch of keywords contained within gibberish, you don't stand a chance. Everything has to work together.

Content plays an important role in SEO, perhaps even the starring role. Give it the attention it deserves and your SEO efforts will be off to a fantastic start.


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