We all know that there's so much competition to rank in search engines, and we've all heard that 'content is king', but what does that *really* mean?
What it means is that Google is now placing much more importance on the authority, authorship, relevance and uniqueness of the content we create, very much putting the author back in the middle of the process. If you can create a reputation for generating insightful, well-researched, compelling and engaging content, your hubs will do better as a result.
I've been researching how we can take advantage of this and recently came across an excellent article: http://www.copyblogger.com/page-rank-vs-author-rank/
In the article, the author clearly and expertly looks at how authors are now becoming more respected content creators and he explains how we can take advantage of this, listing 20 key points that we should be following.
I have copied the list below.
Quoted from CopyBlogger:
1. Care deeply about the quality of your writing, and about your audience.
2. Go deep with original research.
3. Share a never-before-seen interview.
4. Avoid redundant, duplicated, or stolen content.
5. Build so much trust with your audience that people would be happy to hand over their credit card.
6. Build your authority and your site's authority.
7. Spell correctly.
8. Fix factual errors.
9. Repair bad grammar.
10. Write for humans, not machines.
11. Create something nobody has ever seen before.
12. Remain balanced and worthy of your audience's trust.
13. Cover a topic comprehensively (don't aim for an arbitrary word count and stop once you reach it).
14. Avoid the obvious. If thirty people have already reported on the Facebook Graph Search, then find something else to write about (unless you have information nobody else does).
15. Create something strangers want to share and bookmark.
16. Don't overuse promotions, calls-to-action, and ads.
17. Write something a good magazine or journal would print.
18. Steer clear of short and useless.
19. Spend an insane amount of time on detail.
20. Create something people want to talk about (preferably positively).
If you want to take your content creation to the next level, use the above points as a checklist before you publish your content. Run every single article through it. In fact, print this list out and tape it next to your desk.
Remember, the web needs content. Useful, original, and ultra-specific content.
I think this is a brilliant list and am sharing here in the hope that you find it helpful.
Yes, It's the key to get respect in search engine results. According to google research it's found that people search with 25% of new words/keywords/phrases every day and there is always place for new and fresh content/information.
And you can create fresh content only if you write it by your own and don't just copy and paste.
At one point I stop you.. "Create something nobody has ever seen before". It is really not possible every time to write about anything that didn't covered before but you can write and explain it in your own words and can present it in a more unique, better and improved way.
Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for sharing this with us, Paul. I printed out the list to inspire me to make sure every point is taken care of.
Some great advice as always thank you Paul.
it's a good list, but ironically I can't get some of my most original, awesome content featured on Hubpages -- the preliminary pending period sank it, and it's never been able to get featured for any length of time since, despite original photos, experience, and information found no where else.
(By contrast, my less-well-written article on the same topic posted on another site, when I realized Hubpages wasn't going to feature it, does get traffic and get shared.)
In other words, when publishing on a third party platform, there are factors outside of your control. These can be mitigated somewhat by learning how the system works and figuring out what each particular site thinks is "outstanding," independent of what Google and external web visitors think of the content you create.
Thanks Greekgeek for this response. I'm not very savvy when it comes to this stuff so frustration sets in easily.Now, at least in light of your response I can make some changes and "learn" how to be a bit more successful on this site.
1) It takes me about two-three hours to write a stellar hub. (they seem to go idle) diminishing any effort to continue writing stellar hubs
2) I've created a new sub-domain here
3) I will write hubs which take me 30 minutes to write directed at the golden window of searchers (tweens)
4) The ones which go idle or copied (while in pending) will not have cost me much time or effort while (hopefully) some will stick with Google.
5) When HP allows proven authors to bypass pending and extend the idling time grace period from two months to at least 6 months then I will return to my "a' account and spend the 3hours on stellar hubs.
I know I might be putting words in your mouth, but your comment about "writing for a third party" has helped me stop trying to fight the system and find a way to work around it.
For those who wonder why I dont just tweak the hubs to get them out of idle--because I am a bit insecure with numerous n0-indexing and re-indexing back to -no-indexing of articles. I'm not sure this process will help me in the eyes of G in the long run...maybe insignificant- researching it though/.
I had a big problem with getting indexed when the pending period was first introduced, 2-3 weeks after my hub was featured it was still not found by Google, but that seems to have been solved. I don't know what has changed but now I can get Google traffic a couple of days after I publish something.
I don't know whether that is only me, or if it is universal. But with "only" a 24 hour delay in indexing the pending period is a lot less annoying. Sure it can be an issue if you are targeting a hot current topic, you can't really earn from "live blogging" here, but with more ever-green content, pending isn't such a problem for me.
The success of certain hubs but not others is a major mystery to me. Some of the articles that I consider my best fail, while others that didn't take much effort or thought get reasonable views.
Thanks for sharing excellent piece of advice.
Search engines are beginning to really take into account a writer's application of latent semantic indexing, as well. Generally, if you aim to write sincere, high quality, content while writing "for humans", latent semantic indexing will take care of itself. It can be a seriously daunting task to mesh all of the criteria mentioned above, but, with the daily increasing competition in even the most remote micro niches, it is becoming very important that a writer serves up their best at every opportunity, especially when writing online. Thanks for the great link and list, Paul!
Thanks for sharing your findings, Paul Maplesden! Those are very sound tips.
I have conclusively proven to myself time and time again that Google can't read.
However, Google can figure out whether the majority of visitors like your page or not. And we all know how Google does that. So that is what I now do.
Thank you for providing such a succinct list. I'm also posting it in plain sight as a reminder. Like everyone else, I would love to rank as the 1st two or three items rather than the first few pages since I'm seeing that a lot of searches are mobile. There's not much time spent on anything past the first page, I don't think. I need to really keep the list in mind.
That sounds like a good list. But.....if all the above is true, how come I keep coming across e-how junk on the first page of SERPs so often?
Honestly, yesterday I was googling how to tell the gender of a chameleon. Of course there was an e-how page on the very topic. I think the "deeply researched piece" consisted of 3 points. Point 2 was advice that I should consult an expert! Wow!
I suspect that promoting epic content is something that Google would love to do, but they haven't quite figured out how to do it yet. Of course it is worth trying to do our best now, so if they ever really reach that point, we'll be ready. As opposed to concentrating on the newest "trick" to get Google to like us, which even if it works now will fail in the future.
I think you are right paradigmsearch, I can't imagine G having the data on your readers on page behaviour (time spent on page etc.) and not using it. However, I have my worries about that too. I am not entirely sure that a lot of readers really want deep, original, thoughtful content. Perhaps many of them really like the e-how brand of "any problem can be solved with 5 short, easy steps".
Who said anything about deep, original, thoughtful content? Sure, as a matter of ethics, I do that. But Google can't tell the difference between that and spun, crap, plagiarized content that would make even an autistic chimpanzee cringe.
Edit: I know you were talking about the readers, but I just couldn't pass up my Google rant.
Hi aalite, this is off the subject, but I have noticed the same thing about those "informational" ehow posts. Are they just rated so high because they have so many backlinks, to each other? Would our hubs be rated higher if they were linked to others?
They certainly cannot be rated that high because of any useful information. I have found this out the hard way.
I think Richard Rosenblatt sold his soul to the devil. I mean to Google. I think that's how eHow gets so many results so high up on the page.
Hi DrMark, I don't really know. My feeling is it isn't because of the back links. It's possible that it is because people actually like reading those posts. They (or at least the ones I come across) are really very easy to read, little pre-digested bits of info. They are also simplistic, pretty useless, and often actually wrong, but maybe people don't realise that until they are off the page.
The other thing is that I think all the pages there are actually approved by an editor now? Perhaps this re-assures Google that if it sends people there, they will not find truly bad spam? I reckon Google cares a lot more about not turning up rubbish at the top of the SERPs then it does about returning the truly fantastic stuff.
People on the web have a very short attention span, which is why I'm never sure about the advice to write long in depth hubs. But I reckon it depends to a certain degree on the "type of query".
Anyway I've "dumbed down" my latest offering, made an effort to keep the text blocks short, while adding a lot of photos. I've been thoroughly critiqued by HubPages resident scientist, who's on a mission to educate us all, for this. But I reasoned that people searching for that keyword wanted some quick fun facts rather than an in depth review of the subject.
I'm starting to think that part of the secret of success is to recognise which keywords are entered by impatient people, who just want a quick answer or a easy fun read, and which are used by people who have the patience to read a page thoroughly.
In my experience this is the key to successful online content ie: knowing who your searcher is by the type of phrases they use to find information and then being flexible enough to make sure the information you provide is written and presented in a way that is right for them.
There is not a one size fits all approach that can be applied to all search queries and since you've already worked that out aalite I predict a successful online career for you!
P.S. I took out "impatient" and would personally replace it with "different".
@aa lite - e-how fills in where there is no easily searchable really good content. If you see them as one of the first few items in a search, that may be a dead giveaway that Google will be looking for your article. Use their same keywords and write a stellar hub with good research.
That is actually a great idea, assuming that you are right. I worry that there has been soul selling and that my "stellar" content would not win the battle with e-how, which would seriously annoy me.
I know somebody who keeps Jackson and panther chameleons. I wonder whether he has any pictures of their private parts that I could have hmmm.......
Great Advice. Thanks very much. This is what I am trying for!
Well aalite, you are a better woman than I am, to be sure! Kudos, Ma'am.
I would have simply deleted away the comments by that annoying pest with his self-promoting links.
Thanks WriteAngled. My first impulse was to delete it because of his link, but then if we only allow praise in comments, that makes them rather inane. I do actually tend towards accepting that he isn't doing it to divert traffic, just that he is innocently very impressed with his status as a scientist on a mission to educate the unwashed masses. He is young!
Somehow I don't feel compelled to prove my "credentials" to him though. If he is that curious about them he can pubmed me, it's easy to find out who people really are from Google+. But my CV, like the snake ancestor, shall remain fossorial.
I agree that responding to a comment, which challenges the basis premise of a hub, is the honourable option. However, I do also believe that dialogue should be courteous and constructive. It is also my policy to delete any comment with a link, unless it adds outstanding value to the content of the hub.
Thanks for this list. With so much to read online these days about the constantly changing Google algorithm etc, it's useful to have nice short reminders like this:-)
Very useful, Thanks! I spent two days researching my lat hub and have read how some people publish two or three hubs a day! Hopefully I will get faster but this post has inspired me.
Thank you for sharing this article, will try to follow the steps.
@Paul The Proof is in the Pudding
If epic ('stellar') hubs is what Google is looking for then the bigger hubs should rank higher in the SERPS - BUT it ain't necessarily so!
If you so a search for "hayfever remedies hubpages" or any similar search with "hubpages" at the end to only list those on HP, the "short and sweet" often appear at the top! Sure there are exceptions etc. etc., but the little ones do very well!
Why is this so?
I suspect because Google is a fickle mistress! Unfortunately, these are only *general* guidelines (and the lst is created from guidelines that Google themselves created, linked in the original article.)
I still think they're a good general guide, but also accept that they won't work in every circumstance. Unfortunately, one thing Google has proven many times is that it is anything but predictable.
I don't agree that the "little gems" only rank higher because Google is a 'fickle mistress'. Penguin showed that linking is still a major contributor. The point is that content 'quality' is only one of 200 or more metrics that Google uses to rank a page for the SERPS and to say that epic content is King is misleading. I seem to recall that 'content quality' makes than than 30% contribution to the rank?
But, epic content *does* help (Google themselves say so here: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot. … ality.html ) and is one of the main on-page SEO techniques that people can use.
Of course, it shouldn't be used in isolation. Certainly, using these techniques won't hurt your rankings, so why not try using them? I don't think that anyone outside Google knows how much of a difference great content makes, but I'd certainly be interested in any studies you can link to?
I'm not disputing that linking doesn't matter, of course not; great content is just part of an overall SEO strategy. I was simply posting a resource that I had found helpful.
I personally believe that virtually all advice can be condensed into the following:
Write good, original articles. Someone somewhere will appreciate it.
The proof is in the pudding and content is not king. I have a hub called "Water Pollution Causes, Facts, & Solutions" published 03/30/12. It's a stellar hub, with great content, photographs (original and properly cited), and links to other sites for more information. Readers spend time on it.
That one hub has garnered more total reads than any of my other 67, many of which are also stellar hubs. Over its 11 month period the hub has averaged 95 reads per month. For this month so far it has 78 . . . which is higher than any of the others.
The next highest is called "Chlorine vs. Saltwater Pools," which readers also spend time reading. Many of the others are about products related to water conservation. I'm wondering if Google's algorithms are catering to teenagers and young adults, who don't have the responsibilities that older adults have, but who have money they want to spend and no idea how to spend it.
I'm not sure I understand your arguments but if I do, then you are wrong.
Google's algorithms do not cater to any particular group of searchers. Google's algorithms are supposed to return results that will satisfy the searches, based on the keyword they typed in. I suspect not many teenagers would be searching for articles about water pollution (I could be wrong), but your hubs are not in competition witht he articles the teenagers are searching for.
There are two possibilities that explain you not getting much traffic. One is that not many people are searching for your topics. This is not Google's fault, it can't drive people to pages they don't want to read. If somebody was searching for the latest celebrity gossip, and Google returned your chlorine vs. saltwater pool article, Google wouldn't be doing a very good job.
The other possibility is that your hub is not found on the first page of the SERPs for its keywords. That could be Google's fault, or not, depending on what the results on the first page look like. It could be that there are many "authority sites" competitors in the SERPs and you simply have no chance of ranking.
The content on the authority sites might actually not be better than your hubs, but Google does trust a lot of sites more than it trusts HubPages, which is why I don't think that content is King. Sometimes I think Google really messes up, it annoys me when my better hubs, written about something I've had a lot of experience of are outranked by truly awful yahoo answers or ehow pages, but sometimes I can see why Google would trust the other sites more than it trusts HP.
It must have to do with the long tail keywords concept. My pollution hub ranks 5th for "water pollution causes & solutions" for which there are 320 searches/mo, according to Google Adwords. Meanwhile, "water pollution causes" had 40,500 searches (I gave up looking for my hub after page 11) and "water pollution solutions" had 9,900. "Water pollution" itself had 673,000 searches. It's a popular topic.
No, "water pollution causes and solutions" and similar terms produces 320 searches per month.
"Water pollution causes and solutions" produces only 36 searches per month.
To find the searches for your exact keyword, click the "exact" button on the left side of the page. HP suggest writing only on topics getting at least 500 searches, though I've had good success with less. Particularly when I can build 2 or 3 into the title (which you have done).
Are you using the Keywords Tool? I find that gives a better idea of what keywords to center a hub around. I always pick a topic I care for, but after that I always go on Google Keywords and check how viable it is, then try a bunch of keyword variations and look for one with low competition. I think that is key. But lately even "low competition" keywords have a LOT of competition, so what I've been doing is using another keyword service at
which gives specific # of searches per month, and specific number of pages with that keyword or related ones. It actually tells you how likely it is you can break into the niche. Unfortunately my free trial is almost up so I have to go back to Google Keywords, but I recommend trying it if you are frustrated with being pushed past pg10 on your chosen keywords.
I took the tip wilderness gave to select the "Exact" checkbox on the left and deselect the "Broad" checkbox when I search for keywords on Google AdWords. I've modified titles on 6 or 7 hubs this week, so we'll see what happens now.
You can write all the stunning, original articles you like, but if no-one is looking for that information, you aren't going to get any traffic
Thank you for great information. "Quality Content is King" Content without quality will not bring any good for ranking. Also , quality backlink can helps Once again, quality backlink can be obtain from quality content.
Google is a business and the way it makes its money is through advertising. So it is only interested in any hub that pleases its advertisers. Create a hub that makes money for an advertiser and you will get high rankings. Create a hub that makes no money for advertisers and it will quickly disappear from Google.
It is disturbing that Epics are required to get better ranks for quality, BUT epics generally earn less than the 'little gems'
"Yes, lower quality content has a higher click through rate on ads than high quality content, however I would only put the effort into high quality content."
More Effort for Less! especially for mobile delivered hubs.
No, the "little gems" earn more per visit. The question becomes does the higher traffic to epics more than make up for the higher earning rate of the little gems.
From the same thread, it does. Epics win in total earning even though they lose in earnings rate.
I don't completely agree with that, even if we take the basic idea that Google only cares about advertisers as true (Google has always denied it, claiming that their search and advertising sections were completely separate, whether we believe that or not is a different matter).
There are certain topics that are far more "advertiser friendly" than others. Weightloss, laptops, medical subjects in general are better for ads than a page about history or astronomy. However if a searcher enters a 'history' query into google, the search engine is not going to send him to a page about weight loss. Pages that are not advertiser friendly compete with other pages on the topic, so they are not disadvantaged by the fact that Google is trying to make advertisers happy.
HP push is for 'Stellar Hubs' that it says will will rank better.
BUT HP admits that epics will have lower click through rates. More effort for less!
HP theory is that 'little gems' get more income, but they will rank lower and get less traffic.
The Proof is in the Pudding - see the SERPS and see the Google PR values.
The Jury is still Out!
thank you for sharing this list but i often wonder when anyone says 'create unique content' because almost every one is working in this direction alone, plus writing from SEO purpose- this too holds true for most of us. So it is really tough to face such a massive competition in reality
Great list, it will be a big help and I will definitely be using it.
OH my gosh! You would think these things were common sense, but a lot of people are just doing it for the money and don't realize how impotant these factors are! It goes with any endeavour that sets people apart (such as millionaire business owners). You have to look at all you do as a "labor of love". Thanks for putting out this comprehensive list. Hopefully, people get it!
Thank you for sharing this, Paul. It really does provide an excellent guideline for creating successful articles. I try to use several of these tenets in writing my hubs. Of course there will always be factors outside of our control that interfere with each individual's success in Google rankings. I think the biggest of these factors is the fickleness, changing needs, and short attention spans of searchers. As someone else posted, no matter how good the article is, if no one is searching for it, it won't be viewed. However, I plan to continue using the list as a guideline to help me continue to produce quality hubs.
Great tips indeed. Thank you for the good information.
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