By Melissa J Luther
Content is a broad term covering the ways in which we communicate with unseen, mostly unknown people. Content appears in the Internet, newspapers, magazines and television. It consists of words, pictures, video and audio, which inform, entertain and invite questions and discussions.
Clearly, content is very important in connecting with customers, colleagues and friends. It is so important that the phrase “Content is King” has become one of the most often repeated Internet cliches. But is it true? Is content really king?
Defining Internet Content
In the early days of the Internet, content was most often static words on the virtual page, and that page was your Web site. As search engines cropped up to help people find specific content, Webmasters learned to repeat keywords more frequently, use them in headlines and hide them in “invisible text.” Many of these people didn’t care if their content was relevant to the visitor, they just wanted eyeballs on their page. The search engines in those days weren’t too smart, and it was fairly easy to trick them into thinking a page was more relevant to a specific search than it really was.
Today, content consists not only of words, but also of podcasts, Webcasts, blog comments, tweets and more. Search engines have also evolved, and they are able to find all of this material, as long as it is appropriately tagged, and determine its relevance to a search. The more types of content you produce on a given topic, the more likely you are to gain multiple listings in search results.
Your content is no longer restricted to your Web site, either. It resides all around the Web, in your Twitter account, your Facebook page, YouTube videos, document sharing and your Google local listing, among others. In addition to content you create, others may create content about you in the same places, as they discuss or comment on your products and services. This other content may also show up in searches for you.
Not all of this content is equally valuable, but it is all content. Your goal is to make sure your content stands out from all the rest.
Content Is Still King
With the explosive growth of the Internet, content is quite possibly more important now than ever. But not just any content. The key is to produce content that is better, more valuable and more interesting than what your competitors are providing. If your content is merely mediocre, the search engines will ignore you and your visitors won’t come back.
The businesses having the most success online are giving visitors something they want to read, view or listen to. They are posting this valuable content in multiple locations around the Internet and tying it all together through their Web sites. They understand that the content that matters most is the content that their visitors want.
So the final answer is: Valuable, high-quality content is king and will be for the foreseeable future.
About the Author
Melissa J Luther, owner and founder of LookSee Information Solutions, LLC helps small businesses create and maintain a strong Internet presence. She takes a multi-channel approach, with a well-optimized Web site as the center of an Internet presence that includes content creation, PPC advertising, linking and social media as appropriate.