Search Engines and Content Creators: A Symbiosis

Chris Sams, January 15, 2013

We all know that in 2013, we will continue to see higher quality SERPs as Google’s algorithm improves its ability to understand the difference between captivating content and dull, talentless drivel.  I believe that social sharing is one of the best indicators of the quality of your content.  I inferred this from personal experience.  Google is beginning to realize it as well.  I would comfortably assert that all of us are significantly more likely to share fun, captivating content than the run-of-the-mill bluster.

Many of us spend a lot of time trying to “optimize” our content for SEO purposes, and this is quickly becoming a fast-track to stagnant rankings.  Essentially, Google is starting to understand the unifying characteristics of great content.  Scraping is not, and never will be an effective content-generation strategy for anyone doing a long-term SEO campaign.  Scrapers are frustrating, in some ways, I feel they dilute the impact of great content.  They “borrow” content and claim it as their own in effort to divert hard-earned recognition from the original poster.  As a writer and white-hat SEO lover, this is beyond infuriating.  Us writers don’t take kindly to plagiarists. As a matter of fact, I would love to eviscerate a plagiarist publicly in rhyming verse, but I wouldn’t for fear of my rhymes being ripped off.  I hate plagiarists, and their penchant for content theft is unconscionable.  I don’t mind if you quote something, but when you copy articles and do not give credit to their author, I will proudly be the first to call you out.  They think that simply by following some goofy structure optimization rules for their post, they will be able to rank well.  It’s pitiful.

Up until the effects of Google’s most recent and widespread algorithm updates, this was an unfortunate, but semi-functional strategy to fool the old crawlers.  Considering how many pages were penalized over the past year, I would imagine that those strategies that exploited unbalanced benefits have been devalued to say the least.  The format is important to the shareability, but it is near-meaningless when compared to the value of content. The only type of content optimization we should be doing is to benefit our fellow searchers.  Google’s crawlers are constantly adapting to mimic the thoughts of a reader.  Their programmers, geniuses like Petr Mitrichev, and Jeff Dean dedicate their time to making the algorithm’s content interpretation as lifelike as possible.  There are some really strange rumors about Jeff Dean.

This endless drive for better search results puts white-hat SEO-loving writers like myself at an odd position to form a symbiotic relationship with Google that most in our industry may not have considered.  We all want Google to give our content the authority and relevance we think it deserves.  From this, we can deduce something interesting: the better our content becomes, the more examples Google’s crawlers have to evolve their understanding of the unifying characteristics of great content. Therein lies the symbiosis.

Simply put, Google can only understand how to fetch captivating content if we create that content.  It benefits Google when we create incredible content.  If we are always creating the best content possible, and refining our content for our audience, it will improve the caliber of our community.  Google’s ability, much to our benefit, is to analyse that content and determine the unifying characteristics of its excellence.   The other side of the relationship is, in my opinion, the fact that our entire industry is founded on.  It benefits our community when Google recognizes our excellence.  After thinking about it, I realized it appears somewhat idealistic. A company whose motto is “Do No Evil” should be able to appreciate where I am coming from.  In an internet utopia, this optimistic outcome is just the goal Google would aim for.  To have the citizens of the internet working with them in a synergistic, symbiotic structure that symbolizes the success of our species should be our shared goal.  Considering the events of late, I don’t know what Aaron Swartz hoped for, but I feel he might have sympathized with the idea.  I know JEMSU™ does.

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