Ever since Google's recent algorithmic updates – one that punishes article scrapers for unoriginal content, and the second that rewards sites for high-quality content – many marketers have been revisiting their SEO strategies. In a recent Webmastercentral YouTube video, Matt Cutts offered some tips on content strategies viewed favorably by Google.
To start, Cutts advises against article marketing. The negative effects of the updated algorithm on article marketing have been shared across the web (with marketers chiming in to produce more than 497,000 web results on the matter). One popular article in WebProNews posed the question, “Is article marketing still viable?”
Cutts' response seems to be no – article marketing is far from brands' best option. He starts by indicating that he is not a fan of article marketing. “Typically, the sorts of sites that republish these articles are not the highest quality sites. A lot of times, the articles themselves are not [from] the highest quality sites,” he says.
He goes on to explain that articles used for article marketing are often cookie-cutter, with the same number of words per page. (Brafton has reported that content length variety is proving to be an important component of beneficial SEO campaigns, which necessitates good writing that gives each article subject due word count.)
Instead of article marketing, Cutts advises marketers to move toward campaigns that will help build more editorial content and merit-based links. He says:
Should you pursue article marketing, I'd probably lean away from that and lean more toward great content that naturally has links and some good social media marketing so that people are linking to it organically.
With this in mind, marketers may want to invest in developing content that is highly relevant to their target audience. As Brafton has reported, specialty sites with industry-specific content are coming out as the winners of the algorithm update.