March 22, 2011

Content is king (part 2)

In part one of ‘Content is king’ we spoke about the relevance and importance of good quality on-page content and the value this can bring to a website. With the recent Panda/Farmer Google algorithm updates, hosting original and informative content has become even more important, and this is the case for off-site content too.

What is off-site content?

When talking about off-site content, we’re referring to articles, blogs etc that include an embedded link to your website and are distributed across the internet. The aim is for the content to be picked up by others and hosted on their site, therefore creating a number of back-links pointing towards your website.

The creation of content to be used away from your own website has long been an effective tactic employed within the realms of search marketing. Such examples include:

Guest blog posting

Contacting relevant blog owners and offering the trade of a blog piece for a link back to your site (with keyphrase anchor text). Of course you need to write good original content for this; no one is going to accept poorly produced copy for their own website and, what’s more, you don’t want the owner of the blog being penalised due to the content you have supplied – this isn’t the type of reputation you want to nurture!

Article repositories

Writing original content that is informative, useful and relevant to the subject/website you are promoting. Within the article or author resource box you then link back (through a targeted keyphrase) to your website. Submissions to article repositories mean that your article could be picked up by other site owners to host on their own websites, therefore distributing your link across the internet. If you get on the front page of these repositories you could also receive some traffic uplift through ‘click-throughs’.

Hub sites

Sites such as Squidoo and Hubpages allow you to create a ‘page’ where you can then post your content (copy, images, videos etc) and – like repositories – link back to your website from within the content. These pages can range from informative pieces to more general interest blog-style pieces such as ‘My Top 10 Books’.


Infographics – aka ‘information graphics’ – have been around ever since cavemen started painting on cave walls, but in around 2005 evolved into a key part of the online marketing mix. They soon became one of the more popular ‘link-bait’ tactics to generate viral content, the aim being that users spread the infographic across the web through sites such as Digg and Reddit. A good example of this is the UK Government spending and debt infographic.

The effectiveness of off-page content is something we will now all be monitoring. The Panda/Farmer updates have hit many repositories and hub-page sites hard (EzineArticles being one of the most quoted alongside Hubpages) and the effectiveness of these off-site content techniques going forward are yet to be quantified.

However, you can rest assured that every search marketer will be keeping their eye on this in the upcoming weeks and months, and opinion will not be hard to find!