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IS content *really* king?

10:11 am on Dec 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I run a danish wedding portal. Our strategy until now has been: content is king. Therefor we have a lot of high quality content for the users. Like good articles for brides and grooms, a very active forum etc. Our main purpuse is to KEEP the new visitors, when then arrive and we're lucky to have the best url.

Our mail "headache" is our colleague <snip> - two years ago, they was not a serius competitor, but the past year has seen them rocketing up in the search engines (mainly google) and it seems to us, that their traffic has increased much more than ours. I know for sure, that their strategy is NOT on high quality content but on having many new visitors come in from search engines.

We use the Joomla CMS with a lot of dynamic php-content for our site and our competitor is a "hand coded" page with a lot of static html.

I'm beginning to have serious doubts wether or not content really is "king" - right now, a sarcastic comment from my would be, that we obviously can have all the content and but still not be "the king" of our business.

Please let me know if you have either comments on the matter or - even better - if you can have a look at our sites to see if we're doing something really wrong.

[edited by: rogerd at 2:22 pm (utc) on Dec. 26, 2005]
[edit reason] No URLs or specifics, please [/edit]

1:29 pm on Dec 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have a lot of content on my ecommerce site, more than any of my competitors. But they often have more visitors and business than me because they have more "things"--junk, imo, but obviously many other people don't think it's junk or else they want junk--or because right then they are paying a lot for AdWords. So content is not always king by a long shot, in my experience. Still, that's not going to stop me from writing plenty of it. I enjoy doing it, and my site is known for it.

The other thing I have learned is that having a lot of content impresses a small group of people who do indeed have money to spend but don't want it thrown away on trash. They want their merchant to know what s/he's doing. Having plenty of original content helps create that impression. I am sure that I get more buyers who are in business themselves than my competitors do. In fact, some of my competitors buy from me. I still have to learn how best to exploit this, though.

2:28 pm on Dec 26, 2005 (gmt 0)


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Welcome to WebmasterWorld, klp29. Content is extremely important, but so are other factors if you want to do well in search engines.

Linkage from other sites is important - have you compared your inbound links to your competitors? How does your toolbar PageRank compare? If they have many more links, or better links, they can outperform you with less quality content.

Also, check your site's own optimization - are the pages well-designed for your keywords? On-page optimization still helps. Does your internal linkage support your keywords with appropriate anchor text? Are you using the search engine friendly URLs feature?

Content is great, but if you are in a competitive situation you'll have to have more than just content working for you.

9:43 pm on Dec 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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whilst i'd say that content is king. only content that has a specific conversion event (as defined by you) will work for you. having visitors is only useful if they are performing things on your site that you find useful (like buying things or signing up to your newsletter).

I could dump 75% of my traffic and it would not make even the slightest difference to my biz because on the pages these visitors go to i have no conversion event for them (and probably never will).

11:00 pm on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Content is king. But a king by himself does not make a strong country. That king needs a queen, a court, an army, farmers, land, etc.

You also need incoming links, anchor text, good titles, etc. if you want to rank well. Good content makes all of those things easier to get, but you still need them.

7:59 pm on Jan 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sorry I'm jumping late into this discussion . . .

One point that hasn't brought up is whether or not you performed any (or sufficient) audience analysis as part of your content plan.

You might be adding article upon article to your site, but if they're not written expressly for your audience (which includes addressing its specific needs and not just what you assume is important to it) then you'll find that content won't produce the results you want.

So I'd say that content still remains, and will always remain, king. Just not any content.


3:55 am on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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their traffic has increased much more than ours.

Just curious how you know they get more traffic than you do. Is it because they are ranked higher than you in the serps? And even if more people visit do you know if they stay and look around and then do they buy?

Rankings aren't everything.