Google’s philosophy and long term goal is to “make the web better” and improve the user experience. In addition, lately one of their many goals is to make it faster also but that is a separate topic all together. To that end, they make regular changes to their algorithm to improve the quality of their index and search results.
Google is getting better and better at figuring out what is quality website content and what is used purely for SEO purposes. Website content created for SEO purposes is basically SEO content written specifically to help the website gain an advantage over their competitors by loading up the page with keywords, links and artificially building or buying inbound links from other websites using very specific keywords and anchor text. This is slowly but surely no longer working.
WHAT IS THE ONLY TRUE AND SAFE LONG TERM SEO CONTENT STRATEGY?
The purpose of SEO is to get more traffic to your website. As Google gets smarter and smarter, what may work now to get your site ranked will not work later. The only true, safe investment you can make is to continually add fresh, interesting, useful content to your website and market that content. Content that will generate interest, natural links, social media mentions and ultimately traffic and conversions. Here is a recent blog post from Google that backs this up: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2010/06/quality-links-to-your-site.html
Website content marketing brings people who are actively looking for something: information, insight, solutions to their problems. If you have that special something, you can attract that special someone – the customer. But these new rules of attraction require a shift in direction. It’s not about “pushing” your message, but “pulling” in your customers. And the way to pull is to publish content. Content marketing is defined very simply. It’s worth repeating: Content marketing is the art of understanding exactly what your customers need to know and delivering it to them in a relevant and compelling way.
THE RULES FOR WEBSITE CONTENT HAVE CHANGED
360i CEO Bryan Wiener said this: “Marketers need to understand the dire importance of value exchange in their social programs. Consumers aren’t going to follow you on Twitter or fan your Facebook page in the absence of something in return–entertainment, information, utility of some kind or some form of social currency. Understanding that there now NEEDS to be a value exchange between consumers and brands in their advertising and marketing is probably the single biggest change to the marketing industry since the advent of TV advertising. The strategy of intruding and interrupting is replaced by informing and engaging.”
I think this philosophy makes a ton of sense and the same approach should be used for your SEO content and Website content strategy. Give your potential customers and visitors something valuable and the links, traffic and mentions will come which will ultimately lead to more sales and referrals.