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Google's Guidance for Content Creation

     
6:25 pm on Aug 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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System: The following message was cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4957935.htm [webmasterworld.com] by goodroi - 1:29 pm on Aug 1, 2019 (utc -5)


@MayankParmar
A good blog post from Google: [webmasters.googleblog.com ]


Interesting point I noted in that post:

According to the post, one must ask the following question before publishing a post:

"Does the content seem to be serving the genuine interests of visitors to the site or does it seem to exist solely by someone attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?"

This is pretty much as contradictory as it can possibly get.

Firstly, you are supposed to write content so it 'serves the genuine interest of your visitor'. But how do you know what's their 'Genuine interest?'. By doing some keyword research of-course.

But the sentence also says "Don't attempt to guess what might rank well". So essentially - don't do any keyword research. Don't find out (or guess) what the users are searching for. Simply take a wild guess and write content for your "imaginary users".

--------
To know your visitors (so you can serve them good content) is to know what they are searching for. In other words - to know the keywords they use. And once you know the keyword, you write an article answering the query contained in that keyword.

Now what exactly is wrong with that? And if something is wrong with that, then pretty much every single site that is ranking in the Top10 needs to be penalized. Why pick and choose?
10:16 pm on Aug 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Firstly, you are supposed to write content so it 'serves the genuine interest of your visitor'. But how do you know what's their 'Genuine interest?'. By doing some keyword research of-course.

Keyword research is about attracting searchers, not serving the needs of visitors.

Keyword research = SEO

Serving the needs of visitors = editorial judgment
1:00 am on Aug 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Keyword research data is for Adwords advertizers to help them find keywords to target with their ads.

For a website, you should write articles about different aspects of the subject that the website covers. It's your responsibility to cover all important aspects of the subject, even those that people don't often search for. If you design your site properly, you can introduce new ideas and views to your visitors that they would never considered otherwise.
4:18 am on Aug 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Keywords can live in content, but in and of themselves have marginal value to the user. Content, on the other hand, has value to the user, that happens to have some keyword(s) in the mix.

If "keywords" is all that was required, all websites would look like a Merriam Webster's Dictionary... Even have a real world example. Hobby site with discussion of an author. One "research" was listing all the words the author used in 10 novels, JUST THE WORDS (and how often each was used. A little over 1.5million words in the novels resolved to a handful over 17,000 specific words in the author's vocabulary. That page is the most often hit AND BOUNCED on that site. The three paragraphs that explain the exhibit are used as the "serp snippet", but the actual searches appear to be "keywords", of which there is only one each, 17,000 UNIQUE words ...

The BOUNCE rate indicates very few of those visitors were "satisfied" with the exhibit. On the other hand, the 10 novels (which are also posted) have very high hit rates, BUT SIGNIFICANTLY LONGER TIME ON SITE ... thus more valuable to the user and the webmaster. Interaction with the users, some of whom take advantage of contact offers, is incomparable, and MANY REPEATS are created by the CONTENT and related pages ON SITE.

Content is king. Always has been. Keywords are useful, but are only one tool in the box---and not always the best tool.

Finding the mix which produces best results for both objectives is the KEY (as in THE POINT) in having a site in the first place.

YMMV
11:39 am on Aug 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google's Article is called "What webmasters should know about Google’s “core updates” " and may take the content advice as what the algo checks. The human raters do the heavy lifting with analyzing the content (and analyzing how the algo performed ranking it) leaving the algo just to check for easy to define and code signals of quality content.

If you understand how raters learn to assess good content, that might help you improve your own content.


Obviously the Google raters only check the smallest fraction of sites to determine how the algo is performing by using said signals bringing the quality content to the top of the rankings while pushing spam and low quality content down.

You may have quality content that follows all of Google's content advice and you may not rank well. (Putting other ranking signals aside like speed, backlinks, etc...)

As explained, pages that drop after a core update don’t have anything wrong to fix. This said, we understand those who do less well after a core update change may still feel they need to do something. We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.


Telling webmasters to focus on quality of content only and not chase the signals that determine the quality is just Google's way to try and reduce spam. Until the algo can actually understand what is being said and determine if it can, if the facts are true or not, there will always only be signals the algo checks and Google will be relying on human raters to actually determine how well the signals are performing in finding quality content.
6:54 pm on Aug 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Something to keep in mind: A site made up of pages that are driven by keyword research practically shouts "I'm a content farm."
7:14 pm on Aug 3, 2019 (gmt 0)

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To know your visitors (so you can serve them good content) is to know what they are searching for. In other words - to know the keywords they use.
That's a pretty massive conceptual leap. Unless your subject is something that has absolutely no synonyms and cannot be described in any other way,* your human users may not use any of the right “keywords” in their search. Do you want people to linger on your pages, or do you want to rank well in search? They’re not the same thing.

:: thinking once again what fun it would be if everyone woke up one morning and the word “keyword” had simply disappeared from the language, erased from all memories as if it had never existed ::


* “I’m sorry, search engine, I know it’s misspelled but that’s what Linnaeus called it so that’s exactly, litteratim, what I’m searching for.”
4:59 pm on Aug 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Something to keep in mind: A site made up of pages that are driven by keyword research practically shouts "I'm a content farm."


Have to disagree with that. A content farm certainly uses keyword research, but their articles are low in quality, scrapped or written by bots.

A quality site might do keyword research as well but write content that is useful to the visitor.

There is a wide gap between the two.
1:25 am on Aug 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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And once you know the keyword, you write an article answering the query contained in that keyword.


I have never, ever done that. My articles are around what would be useful information, not what keywords people are searching for.
3:02 am on Aug 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I think if you change "keyword" to "brand" or "product" there might be something there ... but keywords in general ... as g and other se's are using them these days, are not quite the magic bullet they once where. (Think 1990s).

Sadly, the clutter of noise on the web with all the keyword coders has actually hidden valuable content ... and g and the rest, can't get around the noise gate they inadvertently created over the last two decades. (sigh)

The genie is out of the bottle and there's no putting it back, and the scammers and lazy rush to the top have muddied the marketplace.