With Google rolling out its Panda 4.0 algorithm changes, there is increased emphasis on fresh and original content.
What’s not to like?
Well, sites that use syndicated or duplicated content may suffer, although many of these same sites have been enjoying more than their share of search engine traffic under Google’s previous algorithm.
Why is Panda 4.0 good for you and me?
It’s a chance for your website to shine. To make the most of this opportunity, let’s look at strategies for developing and publishing original content.
Newsworthiness, a nose and a unique angle
One of the skills of a good journalist is a ‘nose for a story’ – a sense of what factors create newsworthiness for an audience – and the craft to build a story from an original angle. By combining this with what we know about our market, we can create useful content for both our main website pages and our company blogs – a form of brand journalism. Let’s see it in practice.
Workshop example: Home Building Expo
Gather around, it’s time for a little story. Let’s say you’re in the residential construction industry, and there’s an expo at which you (and several hundred others in your industry) have booked a stall.
The event organisers have issued a press release about the event, and scores of website admins dutifully upload the content to the company blog, pointing out in the article that their company will be at the event. Aside from that, they use most of the content provided in the press release. Why not, they might reasonably think. Who’s got time to reinvent the wheel?
Aside from not giving your reader any further insight into the topic, and missing the chance to set yourself apart from the competitors who’ll also be there, you’re also making it difficult to be found from a search engine’s point of view.
When a user types ‘Sydney Home Building Expo’ in their search bar for example, it might return pages and pages of virtually identical pieces of information. How does the search engine determine which of these it’s going to recommend to the reader?
The solution: Make your article stand out
Try out these factors:
Is there something different about this year’s event that’s worth expanding on?
If your company plans to launch a new product at the expo then fantastic – you’re well on your way to an original article.
If not, will the expo itself use a larger venue or offer a new component? And to elaborate on this theme, how might these features allow your company to better display its wares or connect with its community of potential customers?
Emphasis on what is new or different about this year’s expo is most likely to be the angle from which the event organiser pitches their PR or promotional materials, so it may not make your article significantly different. But if they haven’t gone down that route then you might choose to.
No other business is located exactly where you are. Can you make your story more relevant to a local audience in your story? Some geographic angles could be:
- Home Building Expo a one-stop-shop for Balcombe Estate buyers
- New Homebush venue for Home Building Expo
- Home Expo an easy day out for western Sydney-siders
It’s easy when we’re writing to think that we’re writing for a global audience. But with search engines wanting to offer a more localised and personalised service for users, consider writing especially for your customers – whoever you’ve determined these to be.
How do current events relate to your message? Is an industry reference, or a cultural one (Eurovision? The budget?) going to give you a unique angle for your story?
4. Human Interest
People relate to other people. Why not use this as an opportunity to introduce the team members who will be manning the stall on the day?
Or why not interview those of your colleagues who attended the expo last year? Liven up the article by quoting their insights into the event.
5. Revealing a missing piece of information
Is there something important missing in the information that you’ve read or been given about the event? Chances are if you need to Google the answer to something related to the event, you won’t be the only one searching for an answer.
So go ahead and investigate: make your own calls and find out the missing piece of information. You can then work your findings into your article – making yours the only article on the web to help readers with that question.
Of course each article is an opportunity to target specific keywords phrases in line with your marketing strategy, and this article doesn’t attempt to provide one-size-fits-all advice on this.
But if you’ve found these suggestions are a breath of fresh air for your blog, then we hope you are loved by both your readers, Google, and pandas everywhere.