Is Google Punishing Publishers? Content Marketing Can Still Win the Long Game

Debbie Williams

Written by Debbie Williams on Mon, Apr 25, 2016

Background:

It’s been awhile since the last Panda and Penguin updates to Google’s ever-changing algorithm, which further solidified the need for authentic, quality content. Last week, Google was quietly at it again, and tweaked their algorithm to cause some published content to dramatically decline in search results.  For example: According to SearchMetrics data, Apple’s content dropped by a whopping 63%. (NOTE: For a full timeline of Google algorithm updates that's routinely updated, see this resource from Moz.)

Why? Google has not released an official statement for the media penalties. However, many of the penalties are related to old content or content that has been republished as fresh content, with only minor tweaks. This leads us to believe that the the drop is related to articles featuring old, outdated, or irrelevant content or generic or branded keywords.

Here's our professional interpretation: the two most important qualities of content are now:

  1. Freshness - Searchers want new information and Google rewards the publishers who provide this. Google appears to be deprioritizing old, out of date articles from the top of search results in favor of new or updated information.
  2. Authority - Google is looking for sites that exhibit authoritative knowledge on a given subject. Rather than ranking brief articles that use a particular keyword enough times, the search engine is prioritizing longer, in-depth articles that show signs of authority (like extensive internal and external linking, wide distribution, and a wealth of additional content on the same domain that expands on the same general topic.)

What does this mean for your content marketing process?

It’s time to fuel up your older players and put them on the starting lineup again!

A smart coach knows when to send in the veteran to get the job done. While most companies focus on creating new content, this latest Google update could have an impact on maintaining hard-earned search engine rankings from older published posts. It’s time to refresh the oldies but goodies and ensure they are fully optimized to play in today’s search engine game.

To help you keep your high performers in play, we are offering a new Performance Content Power Play program to refresh and optimize quality content that was published more than 6 months ago. This will ensure that all of the hard work you put in won’t be stuck sitting on the bench or out in left field. In addition, we can help reorganize your content into powerful Pillar Content "hubs" with related "spokes" that are strategically linked and promoted to garner the most authoritative ranking. 

Find out more about our new Performance Content Power Play program and power up your content so Google thinks it’s an MVP player.


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