Content is still King
I consider myself a strong advocate for creating useful and relevant content to support online marketing goals. And I should be an advocate because useful and relevant content is one of the most important tools for anyone who wants to be successful online, including me. But I realize that content is just one piece of the online success ‘formula.’
In contrast, I’ve met people who spend time in other parts of the seo management realm and are fixated on a certain aspect of optimization that they think is the Holy Grail of online success.
Often, in my experience, that fixation is on PageRank.
Recently, I had a heated discussion online with someone over the topic of content and its value – or lack thereof – based on PageRank.
Their opinion: Without a high PageRank, useful and relevant content is worthless.
Links (specifically those with high PageRank) are more important than good content if you’re looking for higher ranking in the search engine results. So, a direct link to your site from a high PR site like CNN.com is priceless because you can’t buy those kinds of inbound, high-PageRank links.
The ‘juice’ and traffic those high PR links bring in outweigh any flaws in your content anyway, so that’s where your focus should be in your SEO efforts – on PageRank and not content.
Not very strong arguments in my opinion, but everyone’s entitled to their opinion.
My opinion: Good content is always valuable regardless of PageRank.
Technologies like RSS feeds, social media, email newsletters and mobile apps are driving more and more qualified traffic to website content, and using these technologies to support your organic SEO efforts will only boost your online success rate.
PageRank is simply one of many metrics – and it certainly doesn’t guarantee you qualified traffic. It just doesn’t work that way. Fixating on it will only cause you to see a small part of SEO and cause you to miss valuable conversion opportunities.
PageRank is not the only measure of importance.
These days, useful and relevant content is given a measure of importance and trust through Tweets, re-Tweets, pings, posts, statuses and more. This means that people are playing a larger role in determining online authority and trust. And remember what Tony says about trust – very important stuff.
If you create content in a way that builds trust and people believe your content is important, then traffic, links and (eventually) PageRank will fall into place. Create content that builds trust AND drives sales, and you’re on your way to online success.
Just to be clear – relevant, useful content and high PageRank are not mutually exclusive. But, I firmly believe that great content must come before you climb the PageRank scale if you want to be successful online.
Even Matt Cutts of Google agreed when he said
“…great content has to be the foundation of a good site.”