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Linking Content versus Discovering Content

The discussion about content and its importance in the SEO process has been ignored in some conversations and overstated in others. One problem with the discussion is whether excellent content is the end all solution to increasing traffic and raising your Google ranking as opposed to a thoroughly analytical SEO process that includes link building. What should be looked at is the critical factors involved with determining if a “standalone” content approach is feasible where users dash to a website solely because of its content.

 Content MarketingThe Discovery Approach

In applying the discovering content approach to increasing page rank, there needs to be multiple channels that are tethered to the web site that will broadcast the existence of the excellent content. Some examples of these tethered channels are blogs that have links to the web site included, social media, standard press releases, and advertising. The presumption made by this approach is that readers from the various forms of media will find their way to the web page and recognize the superior content, which will translate into increased traffic and sales through both personal interaction by the visitor and through one of the most reliable forms of advertising – word of mouth.

As good as this sounds in theory, the question is whether this approach can be used effectively by everyone. Determining what constitutes superior content is a rather subjective issue as some people prefer to pour through words than watch a five minute video. A hotel chain that has an interactive 360 degree view of its rooms may be determined to be an excellent content choice, but the same 360 degree view of a car is not likely to produce the same enthusiasm. A list of the technical specifications of the car is more likely to appeal to first time visitors to the web site.

Applicable Companies

One type of company that is well-suited to using the discovery approach is the company with an established brand name, whether it is the company as a whole or one of its product lines. People who see Microsoft or Apple as a link are fairly certain to know what to expect in terms of content. Whether the link is in a blog or an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal, typing in www.microsoft.com/the-new-product” will draw the same interested target audience. When it comes to buying a new car, the major car companies will likely have a video and slideshow tour of their new lines of cars and trucks with the new features and technical specs close by. Using the discovery approach is almost natural for established, big name companies.

A Problem with Discovery

A problem with the discovery approach is that it minimizes the use and importance of the search engine. It does not completely ignore it, but has a reverse search engine mentality to it. The site will be discovered by other means than using a search engine. People do not need a search engine to type in www.microsoft.com but do need to use a search engine to find “software compatible with Microsoft Office 365.” Here is a clear example of where SEO implementation becomes critical, especially for lesser known companies.

Of the SEO criteria that increases your Google ranking, having quality and authoritative backlinks moves up the list. Discovery linking downplays this as its focus is for its tethered channels to backlink to the web site. Large, established companies generally do not have traffic issues, but this should not negate the importance of staying competitive for the future. Being seen by the Google search engine as a highly ranked authoritative source is not something that can be depended on forever.

Maintain the Standard Approach

Not much as been said about using the standard SEO linking approach. The reason is obviously that while there are companies who can skirt around common SEO practices, those who can are not likely to lose their Page One ranking anytime soon. The majority of businesses will find that attempting to implement a discovery approach will see the competition growing while they remain generally stagnant. In today’s global marketplace, being stagnant is a sure sign of the beginning stages of decline.

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