Content is NOT King
If content were really king, brands would use only the best information on their sites…and we know that’s not happening.
If content were really king, it wouldn’t so often be surrounded by misbehaving jokers, tricking us into clicking to where we didn’t want to go.
If content were really king, it would banish the websites who don’t make their information accessible, findable, or useful.
Content isn’t king…at least not yet.
We all have chosen the internet as the place to get our information. By the numbers, there are 75 billion Google searches every month; that’s 10 searches each for every human on the planet!
TWEET THIS: There are 10x more Google searches each month than people on the planet.
Courtesy of Geohive: http://www.geohive.com/earth/population_now.aspx
The Beginning of Content Marketing
As more people used the internet, industrious people saw an opportunity to provide not just product details, but related information through their web pages. More information = more visitors. So they thought, “We’re going to need a lot of information.” There was a rush to fill a void.
A plethora of jobs were developed because of this need for information; like the more than 100 million bloggers who earn some or all of their income through their work online. Many of them are amazing people wanting to share their passions with the world, and we are all better for those.
But because of the sheer volume of content needed, topics often did not align with the writer’s’ expertise. This led to shallowly researched pieces that did not provide much information.
As a result, much of what’s currently online is not helpful. It doesn’t receive the careful researching and editing it needs, and in some cases, we’re lucky if the author used spell check. For example, doctors tell their patients not to use WebMD because they question whether the information there was written by someone knowledgeable. This is bad news for all of us, because we want great information. Instead, we’re subjected to random peoples’ musing and half-baked research.
Getting good content is time-consuming and expensive. So for many, getting visitors to websites to feed the bottom line became a game. They use a bag of tricks, like clickbait and misleading copy. But for those businesses, there is a big problem looming. Google is quickly figuring out all of the SEO trickery. With each update to it’s algorithm, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, Google is less reliant on us to tell them what’s on a page; their machines READ IT. The result of a lot of competition and Google’s advancements is that a business needs an average of 2,500 words on a topic to rank in one of the top 3 spots. What businesses have today are a ton of 400-800 word articles. This means less traffic for businesses who can’t keep up.
So, until recently, it seemed that were few options…
The Missing Piece
For me in 2014, there was something missing. Why had no-one considered book publishing, a $166 billion industry that has been refined (over centuries!) to find the best writers in the world on any topic? Publishers curate content and work with expert authors to edit and improve their work before release. So why not use the information already in books online? There is enough information in professionally published reference books to triple the size of the internet! Let the content be found by the search engines, and license it to businesses so THEY get the visitors.
I want ALL of the information to be online, especially the best of it!
When I’m into a hobby, I really like to know about it. Recently, I got on a pizza kick and made a bunch of pizza dough. If you really want to know how to make pIzza dough the professional way, it’s really tough to find that information online. You have your choice of recipes, which are ingredients lists with light assembly instructions. But actually learning how to make and manipulate dough to make the best pizza you’ve ever tasted at home is another thing.
In the end, I found what I needed from a well informed blogger and chef. He should write a book! The problem is that this blogger uses generic ads to monetize the content he worked so hard on. A large grocery chain or kitchenware supplier could have this content on their site and sell their products right alongside it.
We all want free access to the best information in the world. We’ve grown used to getting our information from the internet. It’s what it was designed to do, after all. Companies like Google, Yahoo, and Bing make it easy to find information there because they make their living knowing where it all is. It’s a match made in heaven, so what’s wrong?
I’ll tell you!
We don’t want to be “tricked” into visiting a website only to find that the information we want isn’t really there, or worse, we spend time reading the answers to our questions only to find that it’s wrong. When we get to a page purportedly holding the answer we’re looking for, we don’t want to be tricked into clicking a button that’s an ad. We want the damn answer to our question! Give us the answer!
When Content is King…
Content isn’t king today, trickery around content is king. That’s changing though. The most powerful companies in the world are changing it, and I for one am excited to see this change coming so we can cite the internet as a reliable source of information…for the first time.