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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

    
I think it's coming down to content.
paynt




msg:919018
 7:11 am on Jan 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

We talk about linking and hubs, or at least I do, with a few canonicals thrown in for flavor. We argue about cloaking, redirects, and heaven forbid – spam. We rip it all apart and put it all back together, again and again but where does it continually lead us?

Content?

That’s what I keep seeing.

Content means many different things to many different people, which exactly suits us here at Webmaster World because by golly that defines us. So what defines content for you? What is the very least you are willing to offer and the very most? I think keeping up with blogging is the ultimate in giving for content, especially if kept up, as discussed [webmasterworld.com...] . What about glossaries? News sites, online forums like Webmaster World? Imagine a site with 100 pages offering 250 words per page of relevant content.

Any ideas? Any thoughts?

(edited by: paynt at 1:42 pm (utc) on Feb. 1, 2002)

 

bufferzone




msg:919019
 9:15 am on Jan 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think you are right.

Content, quality services and qulity links

brotherhood of LAN




msg:919020
 10:07 pm on Jan 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think so to

I transferred the URL of my site to a TLD but after two months I already have PR6 for the new site, which btw promotes education / biology online

The initial spidering by Google caught 74 pages, all of which provide lots of text content. The second spidering has picked up 250+ links (only from my site), all pointing to unique content on my site.

Since Google can handle the ? in a URL, next spidering should provide over 1000 links from Google, because they 750 new links all point to content deep within a biology dictionary.

Thats what Google likes - content
Thats what I like - Google - because its a search engine that produces accurate result for relevent content

Apart from the fact that my site is content based, the sites that link to me are mainly .edu establishments, meaning I (think) Im getting brownie points for getting links from such TLD's

Anyways, I thought thats why the web was made - THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY - all the gimickry and annoyances of the web will soon dissapear when the likes of Google keeps up its good work and sticks to the same diet..CONTENT!

brotherhood of LAN




msg:919021
 10:34 pm on Jan 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

In fact,

I just checked out my traffic in my advertisers site gallery and found a site in the same category as mine

1. It has 20 times as many links to their site compared to mine
2. They have 20 pages on the site I have 100
3. I get more traffic than them

Yet according to my advertiser I receive more traffic, and by looking at the site it looks like they use our mutual advertiser exclusively

The fact that I get more uniques and page loads indicates content is king, well, as opposed to link popularity!

I can say that in the knowledge thatt 60% of my traffic comes from google too, and taking into account all this talk of page rank (where mine coincidentally is 6), it seems that content on your own site as oppposed to links from other sites is much much much better! i.e. providing lots of content = best way to get more hits without spending money

I am happy with this equation :)

justa




msg:919022
 11:31 pm on Jan 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think that the web is coming back around full circle.

It was originally all about content, a source of information. But soon enough everyone wanted a website without actually knowing why, and without anything of need to put on it.
With the lack of content came the bells and whistles, the scrolling text, animated gifs, popup windows etc. Then the flash sites came out, which I agree look great, but a lot of them lacked any kind pulling power, there was no reason to go back to them except to see the fancy tricks the site could do (there's only so many times you can look at a magiceye picture).
Now there are lots of sites which take the time, before they jump into the web. They work out what they do, whether a website would improve their business or be helpful to others, and then litter it with relevant content (which hopefully changes).

*that was a bit of a rant, so simply yes....It is coming down to content

mivox




msg:919023
 11:40 pm on Jan 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

I've held firmly to this idea since I got my current job, and have pretty much ignored a lot of the usual "tricks of the trade," in favor of just including lots of good information on the site, and making sure a visitor can get to almost any area of the site from anywhere else.

I've been rewarded by (knock on wood) never falling prey to a mysterious "penalty" on any of the SE's and seeing the site's traffic and sales build steadily since its inception. We get a lot of telephone orders from locations that could only have heard about us on the web, we've recently entered into a distributorship arrangement with a gentleman in India, and are in negotiation with another man in Panama.

Would this be happening if our site wasn't a valuable and credible source of information about our products and industry? Nope. And quality information isn't established through keyword density analysis, cloaking or link farming. High rank is great, and for some types of sites, it's almost all that matters... but taking the time to build something solid is, IMO, more important than shooting to the top of the SERPS overnight.

OK, our web sales still don't fully compensate my employer for my wages, but he's clever enough to see that the long-term branding and loyalty a quality site builds are worth it anyhow... and the sales keep increasing, so who knows?

brotherhood of LAN




msg:919024
 11:40 pm on Jan 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

I agree with the changing content statement above, but some sites (like mine) also involve factual information which will inevitably remain the same (unless it is proved wrong)

however, I like to check back on my older pages and re-arrange them a bit, but I try not to rustle the feathers of people who may bookmark a page expecting the content to still be there next time they come back

ive heard of someone retaining the info of an old URL and getting an extra 20000 unique hits because of a radio station documenting on stuff relevant to the content of that page

but i also sort of agree. Im not to keen on pages that say "last updated 1996" or whatever

paynt




msg:919025
 11:57 pm on Jan 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Im not to keen on pages that say "last updated 1996" or whatever

A volunteer site I work on for my parish I always add a comment on the bottom of the page saying "last updated on..." with the date. The parish loves it ‘cause they know I actually popped in and did something but I think that might be a good thing for other sites I work on. >Putting on thinking cap>…… Of course that means you commit to visit on a regular basis.

chiyo




msg:919026
 3:25 am on Feb 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

interesting thread..

justa's comment about the full circle strikes a chord with me.

I remember when we first started on the Web, there was no google, no Alta vista, no not even yahoo! We promoted by:

1. Reciprocal links
2. Press releases to newspapers, mags etc
3. email sig footers
4. USENET - the major community on the net before web discussion etc ( back then nobody thought this was SPAM becaus very few did it.. they were community service postings - suggesting people look at the content if it was relevant to the thread)
5. Word of mouth
6. Talking at conferences/seminars etc.

Interestingly, the above still makes up more than 80% of our effort (with the exception of usenet). With good content for sites that do little more than give exposure to columnists and sponsors, Google treats us very well (at least up to now), Yahoo regularly ads our URL's to their directory with no submissions from us (one happened only yesterday according to their "News" listings and in a domain that is already listed at its root URL) About editors add our URL's and they keep on turning up on ODP. We have not submitted a URL to a search engine for 18 months.

We may be a special case (niche community).., and agreed its not an option for commercial websites that need to get exposure fast, or are just selling rather than providing information, but content really DOES sell.

Providing an RSS feed and an include or js feed, starting a Weblog and getting involved in weblog communities.. all pay back.

That said we do use SEO principles that are just good publishing principles in any medium

Using clear titles that reflect content and current buzz words (I worked for a publishing company once that became rich based on their way of naming academic journals - the bosses walked university coridoors and noted all the titles on the doors of academics. Bingo - they created a journal with the same title. - no neo-modernist, clever, or sophisticated show off titles... Now a person who is Professor of blah blah would HAVE to subscribe to the Journal of blah blah to keep his credibility right?

Providing short keyword rich summaries at the top We used to call these "abstracts" - good for the reader AND the Search Engine

Providing good unique, fast changing, and original content

Giving credit where credit is due - Like the good search engines, linking to good content where it adds value to our existing content. As a result many linked back to us who found our referals.

That is just about all the SEO tricks we have ever used.

Google is good because they were the first to go beyond simple text analysis and include citations (page rank), smarter text analysis, and now it seems frequency of updating too.

Yes, it looks like we are going full circle, as Search Engines that focus on the knitting of good publishing principles regardless of media, rise to the top.

europeforvisitors




msg:919027
 3:21 am on Feb 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

One thing that I find interesting (and annoying) about the Web is the lack of differentiation between editorial "content" and marketing "content." In the print world, you'd never see the Carlson Wagonlit travel agency being reviewed alongside TRAVEL & LEISURE magazine, or an airline-ticket consolidator being compared to the NEW YORK TIMES travel section. Yet when discussing the Web, both Web-based journalists and the print media think nothing of comparing Expedia or Priceline with editorially-driven travel content sites. I'm sure the same is true in other sectors.

Some of this may be due to the fact that e-commerce sites license or develop editorial content as a way to get people onto their sites (Expedia's "destination guides, "for example), and editorial sites may be pushing their own products (e.g., Lonely Planet guidebooks at lonelyplanet.com). The same thing happens in the offline world--a catalog of backpacking products might run articles or tips on backpacking, and WRITER'S DIGEST might hype its books and correspondence courses--but the difference between marketing and publishing is usually a little more clear-cut than it is on the Web.

In any case, the question of what "content" a site needs obviously depends on the site's mission--i.e., does it exist to sell, or (like a magazine) does it sell to exist?

Another question that someone raised was freshness of content. This really depends on your topic and your audience. If you have a site that will attract an audience of regulars (say, a hobby, crafts, or sports site), you need to provide new content regularly. If you have a site that will mostly draw a transient audience of people looking for specific information, "new" doesn't matter--what does matter is having the information that your audience needs, whether you wrote it yesterday or two years ago. (FWIW, some of my most popular content was written in 1997 and 1998; its age is irrelevant as long as I keep it up to date.)

As for blogging, color me skeptical. :-) User-created content has been around for years, and I don't think anyone has figured out a way to make it profitable since the days when online services charged by the hour. Who even reads it? Blogging is just a high-tech version of zines, which were a form of vanity publishing made possible by DTP software and cheap printing technology. If the average person wanted to be informed or entertained by user-created content, cable-access TV channels would have bigger audiences than Letterman, the Today Show, and the CBS Evening News.

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