Ah happy days, way back in 2004, when you could just grab a few keywords, write some so-so content (or even slap up some junk content), and get traffic and sales.
Those days have long gone. These days, Google isn’t so much a panda, as a tiger, padding through the web-spam jungle, and swatting aside content written just for keywords, and other content rubbish.
Your Web content now has to be useful to someone, somewhere, or you’re wasting time and money posting it.
When I’m working with clients on Web content, my primary question used to be: What response do you want?
Of course, that’s still a concern. However, now I ask another question: Is this content USEFUL to your audience?
This post puts it succinctly, The One Question Google Panda Has Taught Us To Ask Ourselves | Search Engine Journal:
“Panda has caused people to realize that there is really only one important question to ask whenever you’re engaging on social media, writing content, link building or creating a new product:
Am I Adding Value?”
Are YOU adding value with the Web content you post?
Adding value goes beyond usefulness. It means that you’re adding something that’s needed, and valued, to the Web.
It’s a tall order, and of course it’s highly subjective. However, it’s important that we (content creators) think about whether we’re adding value with every piece of content we create.
It’s the new baseline, both for content, and for search engine optimization (SEO).
There’s no point in washing garbage, so SEO-ing a piece of rubbish content is useless, if no reader on the planet gets any value from that content.
Create useful content, that’s valuable, then think about SEO — keywords, links, and so on.