The content on your website has a purpose: to answer user questions, guide them through your site and help them make a decision. When creating content, you should always consider the needs of your audience rather than trying to please the search engines. If you ignore your users and only focus on the search engines, you could be guilty of black hat tactics.
Below are three low-value content tactics to avoid when creating search engine optimized content.
1. Keyword Stuffing
Most content writers know not to stuff keywords in their content, but there is still confusion over how many keywords is adequate. For instance, many people assume that as long as they include a keyword in the content X-number of times, they’ll rank for it. But, it’s not this simple.
Google looks for mentions of keywords and related concepts on your site’s pages. The reason for this is to make sure the supporting content is relevant and valuable to the reader. When writing SEO-friendly content, you’ll want to include keywords and related words and phrases throughout the content. They
should sound natural and conversational.
2. Duplicate Content
Duplicate content refers to content that is shared between domains or between multiple pages of a domain. Scraped content is when someone “steals” content from another site to put on their own. There are many valid reasons for not wanting to put duplicate or scraped content on your site. Not only can Google penalize you, but also this content doesn’t add any value to your site.
One thing we do want to point out is that duplicate content is not technically a penalty. If you take an article from Associated Press and post it to your blog, you won’t get in trouble. But, Google does filter duplicate versions of content from their search results. It only shows the canonical URL and hides the others, which can impact your search engine rankings.
3. Thin Content
An older content strategy was to create multiple pages of content for each city, region or keyword variation. This meant that all the pages had similar content, but it would help websites rank on the front page of the search results for specific queries. Unfortunately, all this did was create lots of thin, low-quality content across the web.
Now that the search engines are much more sophisticated, this strategy is outdated. Google is clear that you should create informative, high-quality content that educates and inspires readers. Any content that Google sees as thin or poor quality is demoted, while the quality content is promoted.
These are three low-value content tactics you’ll want to avoid. You won’t fool Google, and you won’t be giving your readers useful information, either. Stick to creating relevant, helpful content that is written to your audience and you’ll be just fine.