For the last couple of years we have heard nothing but declarations of the importance of content marketing, and that it really needs to be the driving force behind our SEO campaigns. 'Content is King', remember?
Well you will find no disagreement from me, however just because content rules all that doesn't mean that all content was created equally or that every single bit of it is worth doing. So do yourself – and your marketing budget – a favour and stop wasting your time with these three outdated content marketing tactics.
Writing Newsfeed Articles Because It's 'Fresh Content'
I know I know, when you look at your newsfeed and you haven't posted anything in a few months you start to get the gnawing anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach; that little Matt Cutts-sounding voice in your head that says if you don't post something soon people are going to think your blog is 'dead' and that Google are going to be very disappointed in you.
Well there is some truth in that, and a newsfeed that hasn't been updated for months and months does give the impression of an inactive website, but it is vital that you don't just start publishing articles for the sake of it – and there are all kinds of reasons why.
Firstly, they add nothing of value for the user, and therefore will not help you to secure enquiries or sales. In fact, a poorly written article may undermine your company's industry authority with the users.
Secondly, it is widely accepted that bounce rate and 'click-backs' are ranking factors in Google's algorithm, and so the less engaging your content is the higher bounce rate it is going to have – increasing the site's overall bounce rate along with it. To be clear a user has 'bounced' if they enter your site onto a page but navigate away from it without visiting another page.
Of course if a user navigates to your newsfeed via your homepage then this doesn't count as a bounce, so it is only an issue in regards to users who discover your articles via the SERPs – unlikely given that poor quality content is unlikely to pick up any links and therefore rank well on their own, unless you have stumbled upon a long-tail title that isn't particularly competitive.
- Opposing view: "Lie #5: The higher your bounce rate, the lower your rankings" (Neil Patel)
Guest Blogging For Links
Remember when we discovered guest blogging? Content-driven link-building that was going to see us all sky rocket to the top of the SERPs with nothing but Google's approval and admiration. There was to be dancing in the streets and weeks of festivals and merriment. How long ago those days seem.
Fast-forward to 2014, Matt Cutts is declaring guest blogging dead and, although I don't agree that it is finished altogether, it is clear that if you're writing guest blogs to earn links you are walking a very fine line indeed.
Bear in mind the old adage of 'Quality not Quantity' when it comes to your guest blogging approach. The truth is if a site is willing to accept a post that has been written for its own sake (and is probably not very good as a result), the chances are that site is going to be offering virtually nothing in terms of authority or traffic.
Rewriting Duplicate Content
There's a bit of a myth surrounding duplicate content and its impact on SEO – something that was addressed in this video from Cutts last year:
The key take-away from that video is that as long as your content isn't spammy and duplicated then you really have very little to worry about. The only other potential issue is that Google may not know which page to return in the SERPs should content be duplicated across two internal pages.
However if you are worried about the impact of scraper sites, directories or other businesses copying your content then you needn't be. In the case of the first two they link back to your website, and when it comes to other businesses stealing your content and using it for themselves? Well Google can develop a car that can drive on its own so they can probably develop an algorithm that recognises where content was posted first.
What kinds of content marketing do you think are obsolete in 2014? Let us know in the comments below.