Here are three interesting perspectives on the importance of content quality on audience engagement.
SearchMetrics on SEO Ranking Factors
SearchMetrics’ annual analysis of the correlation between certain features (e.g. number of backlinks, word count, Google +1s, etc.) and Google search ranking shows a continuing trend towards quality. Search engine algorithms are, of course, necessarily secret but SearchMetric’s approach of analysing the correlation between the features and a page’s ranking is a nifty way to peak behind the curtain. No guarantees, but degrees of mathematical correlation that imply:
“High quality, relevant content is increasingly the focus of search. This type of content ranks better on average, and is identifiable by properties such as higher word-count and semantically comprehensive wording, as well as being enriched by other media, such as images or video.”
The days of key-word stuffing are gone, quality content rules … just like in the analogue world.
Seth Godin on the Content Strategist
I found this interview with marketing visionary Seth Godin over on the Contently.com site. The headline – You Need Editors, Not Brand Managers – gives you a sense of where this is going. Throughout, Seth talks eloquently about taking the long view, of building trust with your customers / audience, the dangers of mechanising content production, and the importance of doing something of value.
Sir Martin Sorrell on Engagement
Sir Martin was widely reported (last week) as calling for a return to traditional print media. (The Times’ report is more comprehensive, but behind a paywall). In fact, he was making a finer point: that the important factor is not eyeball-hours (seductively easy to measure in the online world) but the degree of engagement (are those eyeballs connected? Much harder to divine.) Research shows that print media has been unfairly judged in the past.