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Content Is King Really for Writers

Updated on July 6, 2010

High Page Rank Higher Search Rankings

For professional freelance writers, the web can sometimes be a disheartening place. Writers researching Internet money making topics and online advertising are told again and again that content is king, that quality writing is the number one key to successful online marketing, search engine rankings, and making money by writing online. Many professional writers, or moonlighting freelance writers jump in with both feet confident that the high-quality content they are used to creating every day will win them high search engine ranks and tons of Internet traffic.

Yet, the deeper the writer digs, the less encouraging things sound. While everyone loves to repeat the Google mantra, "Content Is King," not one of them stops there. Instead, they continue on to the inevitable, "but..." that turns the whole quality content equals high rankings and lots of traffic paradigm on its head.

As it turns out, it isn't entirely clear what kingdom content is the king of. It seems that the power of the Content King is extremely limited, so much so, in fact, that one wonders if the King wields anything beyond some token symbolic power.

Before content can be king, any text must be indexed by the search engines. How to get indexed isn't always abundantly clear. What techniques do exist for getting indexed have nothing to do with either writing or content. Perhaps content is not king of getting indexed.

Assuming the indexing problem is solved, the next issue is ranking highly enough in search engine results pages, or SERP, that anyone will ever see that wonderful content. It seems that most users don't look at the search listings past the first page. Thus, ranking even 12th for a search query won't result in the kind of web traffic that can generate passive income for a writer. However, since content is king, the writer need not worry. Eventually, the quality of the content on the writer's webpages will result in higher PageRank and higher search rankings.

Hot Girls Don't Hurt Either

Pretty pictures of girls can help boost readership too!
Pretty pictures of girls can help boost readership too!

Truth About Search Ranking Reality

Unfortunately, the truth is that the Content King has very little power over the realm of search rankings and PageRank either. In order to have any power in these lands, one must receive votes from the people in the form of links pointing to the quality content. If the website publishers who link to content create links to a different webpage, the writer's page will not rank higher. In fact, without those precious backlinks, the writer's work will drop further and further down the search rankings.

Never fear, Google tells the writer. Just keep writing quality content and the people that link to websites will find you, and upon reading your high quality articles, they will gladly link to your writings. When they do, more visitors will see how great your content is and link to you as well.

And yet, our poor writer, assuming he is not tragically naive now has a bad feeling about all of this. It seems that the judge of quality is not the people who read content for the knowledge it contains, for many of them do not have websites or webpages or any other method to make links. Theoretically, those who do have websites and webpages with high authority and PageRank 9 or PageRank of 7 could take their responsibility as linkers and thus, judges of quality very seriously. Some of them do, but just as some people take voting for politicians seriously, many Americans just end up voting based on the innuendo and half-truths of commercials.

While we're at it, this writer will self-promote an article: Become a Freelance Writer Steps for Success

Even in less serious venues like reality television shows where the public votes on the winner, it is tragically common that those voted off are not necessarily those with the least talent, while those voted to keep going and eventually win the show, are not always the best contestants either.

So, it seems that the poor Content King has very little power, and without his power, the writer's content will never be found, nor judged, nor valuable. The writer has two choices, much like in the real world. He or she may continue to toil in obscurity on their craft, hoping that one day the world will wake up and discover that which they have to offer, or they can add the role of self-aggrandizing marketer and power self-promoter to their repertoire. Online, that means finding ways to create links to their own content and to beg others to do the same.

If the writer is successful, eventually their quality content may some day develop enough power, and the Content King might potentially use it to keep the work ranked high. Until that day, a writer who is not a self-linking, backlink building, social networking, online marketing, fiend will find themselves writing for themselves instead.


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    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 

      10 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Great informative hub!

    • Missi Darnell profile image

      Missi Darnell 

      10 years ago from Southern California

      Whew this is good to know. I just started this adventure and generally write about what I like to write about. Still unclear about all the garbly gook of it all SEO, SERP, keyword optimizers, etc.

    • C.V.Rajan profile image


      10 years ago from Kerala, India

      I have always been thinking something in these lines and you have precisely reflected the same opinion!

      Let me say there is an excellent article giving virtually most of the info the visitor is seeking. If it is not ranked highly in Google (as per reasons alnalyzed by you), it is not going to be read. It is part 1.

      Even assuming that it gets good readership, its content is so good that people need not click any related Google ads adjacent to the article to seek any additional info!

      People say, ads appearing at the top of your articles are most important to get your earnings. What does it mean? If the content is so poor while reading the first or second para, then the visitor will click the related ads and move away! That's what you need, if you are wring for Adsense revenue!! So poor content, but with good SEO value is the king?


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