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Content Is King

A metaphysical musing on what constitutes quality content.

5:53 pm on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Content Is King

Everyone agrees that content is king, but what exactly constitutes good content? The webmaster who figures it out is a successful one.

It is essential to recognize that all content is a form of communication, and the quality of content depends not only on what is communicated and how, but also on whom it is communicated to.

A webmaster that creates written content is directly engaged in a one-way communication with his or her audience, but even the webmaster who maintains a forum meta-communicates by providing the context and backbone of other communications.

Content is created on many levels:

  • Letters form meaningful words.
  • Words form meaningful sentences.
  • Sentences form meaningful written content.
  • Pixels form images to enhance comprehension beyond the linear.
  • Page layout eases the absorption of information.
  • Site layout enables to clarify the flow of awareness.
  • Advertisements and resources connect and sustain.

Attention to minute details and the successful integration of these details into a unified whole so as to provide the clearest and most rewarding communication results in a 'grok' experience for the visitor.

While from the webmaster's low-level perspective content and layout should be separated, from the visitor's high-level perspective content and layout should be integrated. Thus, a good webmaster learns to destroy and rebuild content so as to achieve a greater clarity of flow of awareness.

When the layout, sales pitch, or advertisement become extensions of the actual content (or even interchangeable with it), a fine balance is achieved.

Content is not a static thing; it changes with whoever observes it. Less is more - a visitor's time is precious. Greater contrast can provide greater focus on what is important for the respected visitor.

The webmaster's job is not the creation and management of webpages, but the guiding and management of awareness. Let me repeat it one more time because I think it's important: The webmaster's job is to guide awareness!

If you weave the attention of others with respect and in a way as to fulfill their needs, you have created content that is king.

3:01 am on Sept 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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EFV, couple months ago i put empty page on page1 of google for a really competetive search term.
content of my page was "nothing".
that is why i am saying it is meaningless.

Your example doesn't suggest that content is meaningless; it merely shows that search engines (like most other things in life) are imperfect.

8:35 am on Sept 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Subject knowledge is king, not content!

Show me an expert in their field and Iíll show you a site thatís worth visiting, anything else isnít worth squat.

Not sure? Check out the high ranking but worthless -> About dot com

2:46 pm on Sept 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"Quality Content" is content in sites that Google, Yahoo and MSN show above the fold on Page 1.
9:09 am on Sept 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Every so often I get a note from someone who says they just happened onto my page one way or another and wound up reading for hours. I figure that indicates I must have real content.

Of course these are people who are fascinated with the topic. But I doubt it happens on sites where people have tossed together some quick content.

Good content needs to be interesting to people who have an interest in the topic and hopefully interesting or entertaining enough to attract new people to the topic and your writing.

I've been thinking about the person who got a blank page to the #1 spot. Were you able to keep it there or at least in the top few spots for months on end, even years? I suspect there may be more staying power it the site has real content.

10:22 am on Sept 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I found a page once while searching for some subject matter. It was #3, 4, 5 .. anyhow .. on Page 1. It had not-one-word of text, no images, and only a nonsensical phrase for a title .. not a keyword I could recognize.

It was in the same position for a few weeks

I posted about it here in WW.

Some comments about that situation were [paraphrased], "Well, it probably had a lot of incoming links."


10:48 am on Sept 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I know a site that went for YEARS ranked #1 for a common financial search. (over 5000- keyword overture tool)
-as a 404 not found/or under construction
-as a parked domain page
-now as a simple MFA site

now I see its fallen to #4

But the point is Google is generally pretty good at ranking the top sites for highly searched terms, so its hard to find exceptions.

11:17 am on Sept 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've been thinking about the person who got a blank page to the #1 spot. Were you able to keep it there or at least in the top few spots for months on end, even years? I suspect there may be more staying power it the site has real content.

it was just a test to see if some stuff works. as it apparently did i used that for other purposes. mentioned this texst only because EFV mentioned Google indexing content and spending millions on it earlier.

what i meant is that content is not always text as OP and other posters suggested. it can be anything like pictures, graphics, classified ads, etc. as long as the visitor searches for it.

for me, if page content fits the search query it is fine. lots of pages fail to pass that simple exam. all the rest is just cosmetics to improve revenue.

11:36 am on Sept 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Content is King? hmmm! For your user maybe, but as far as SERPs go it is just an associated by product. I can name plenty of sites within my niche that have better content than mine and do worse and even more with barely any content that thrive.
I'd say 'Age is King' and you can't compete with that
3:52 pm on Sept 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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europeforvisitors, you are right, the checks do keep on coming, but really for how long? I don't want to be negativistic or paint a doomsday pic (andI want the checks to keep coming for me too), but content is changing, no doubt about it.

I like looking at the young; after all, they are the future users of the web and our sites. My little cousin does everything on the web but reading. I myself started loosing patience about reading on the web recently. And regardless of me, or younger people, adword ad-blindness is bound to become stronger and stronger.

Denying there have been some major change of direction of the web in general in the last year or two is just burring one's head in the sand. And that change is mostly in the form of new content types (maps, videos, pics, garbage) that is hard to monetize (if not impossible) through contextual text ads.

written content = contextual text ads
videos =? ads
maps =? ads
applications =? ads

The web is going through the same transitions as the industrial world, the goal here is to adapt and anticipate, not live on our accomplishments. Sure, huge textual content sites will be around for a while and will have their reason for living, but don't forget that in the web time frame, everything moves quicker. Change might hit us faster than expected.

10:05 am on Sept 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Continuous fresh content:
develop user anticipation by regularly updating your site with new content.

Relevant content:
avoid user confusion by keeping content consistent with the theme of your site.

Informed content:
ask users what they want to see on your site.

Tested content:
track your content and replace unpopular content with popular content.

This may seem like common senseÖÖ..but isnít it always!

7:12 pm on Sept 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Do you know how dictionaries are written and updated?
When writing a definition for a word, researchers look as far and wide as possible at a vast array of sources. They focus on the sentence surrounding the word, and the type of publication.
Answer: Meaning is context specific.
A word is meaningless unless 'framed' by an appropriate context.

So how does this relate to DawnArdent's challenge to create content that shifts awareness?
What many folk are saying here is that good content for their sites are different - very different. Each has a different purpose. Adsense site content is different to a professional services organisation.

So yes, I could answer this question, but I'd only be answering it from my perspective, and that would only have meaning for me and those who share my objective.

So DawnArdent, next time please narrow the focus of your question by giving us your frame - your intended audience perhaps.

8:56 pm on Sept 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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A good content is something good from the point of final user,something useful,afterall the web is a place to get information
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