There have been a lot of changes in web content in the past year. Google’s new search relevancy algorithm destroyed many search engine optimization techniques that were commonly used and began emphasizing unique and informative content. Many websites found their search ranking inexplicable plummeting all of a sudden for this reason, and many had to scramble to develop new content for their sites. However, it isn’t always clear for a small business owner what content is truly unique. Google penalizes content that is not interesting or informative, and business owners need to be able to identify this content to know the value of what they are purchasing.
Forget Everything You Know
As a business owner and content purchaser, you probably had it drilled into you that you need keyword optimized content with a lot of links and repetitive phrasing. This isn’t true any longer, and if your marketing company is still using these tactics you might need to have a discussion with them. Google has been actively working on penalizing this type of activity since 2012. Search Engine Land reported that Google is even targeting specific keywords that they call “spammy queries,” such as the keyword “payday loan.”
Do Your Research
When receiving content, you may want to find out whether it’s already been posted. Usage articles, which are purchased to be used multiple times, are valid for some sites but not usually useful for marketing purposes. Google will always prioritize the original article over the copies. You can find out if your content is original by searching for key phrases or using a service like Copyscape. Most content marketing sites guarantee original content.
Look at Similar Articles to Detect Rewrites
Just because your content isn’t a copy doesn’t mean it’s a completely original article, either. It’s possible your content is simply rephrased from a single article. There’s nothing strictly wrong about doing this, but it does mean that your content may not be as valuable as you think it is. You can determine this in a simple way: search for similar articles and look at the first page of results. Most rewritten articles will be rewrites of very common resources. If your article follows an almost identical format, it’s likely that it’s just a rewrite.
Ask Writers to Show Their Work
If you’re demanding truly original content, it isn’t inappropriate to ask your writers to cite their sources. By doing this, you can easily identify that the work is valid, original and above all accurate. You may also be able to link out to these sources, which can potentially show that your website is reputable and a valid authority source on the topic.
Know the Line
Article writers are one thing, but if you’re looking to hire copywriters there are other things you should consider. Copywriting, especially for product descriptions, can be complex because much of the information on a product is already spread through the internet. To create informative and useful product information, you may want to give your writers instructions to be more creative. They can tell a story about a product or emphasize a certain aspect of the product that other websites, including manufacture websites, don’t. They should also get their information directly from manufacturing resources so their descriptions aren’t tinted by the perceptions of other catalogs.
Jenna I is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.