Is Content Really King Or Just A Beat Up?

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Content is king, right? It must be – everyone says it is. Not only is content king, we need plenty of it. Search engines are hungry for it and want more everyday. At least, once again, this is what we are told.

Yet, if you listen carefully to what the search engines actually say, less than 20% of all content is actually indexed. Surely they need to go and index the other 80% before calling for more?

The problem is, the remaining 80% is often just a rehash of the first 20%, or it has only been published in the last five minutes and search engines haven’t found it yet.

Search engines do want content – fresh content – unique content. The last is what they really crave. Is content king then. Well, unique content is important. Do the search engines need a lot of content? I will let you in on a secret – who cares?

The question is – how much content do YOU need. Some websites rank extremely well in the search results yet have only one or two pages. Others have thousands of pages yet only rank alongside the site with only one or two.

If you are in a narrow niche with little competition then a single page will rank highly. I came across one blog yesterday that had a toolbar ranking of 5. It consisted of seven posts – four in 2008 and three for 2009. Each post was at least 1000 words. Each post was exceptional in the amount of content and style of writing. Why is it ranking so well? Quality. This site, and it is not in a narrow niche, uses the concept of exceptional quality of content. Is it exceptional? 30,000 inbound links suggests it may be. To rank so highly these links must be of reasonable quality as well.

So back to the original question – is content king? Does it really matter if it’s king or not? If you can produce exceptional content and market yourself well then your quality will win out. If you cannot write exceptional content every time, then quantity will make its mark. Above all else – it needs to be unique – that is what the search engines really crave. Will it rank well? Come on, content is only one small part of the SEO equation.

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