The Content Strategists

Friday Wrap-Up: April 1, 2011

Here’s what caught my eye this week:

1.) Taking a huge cue from Facebook’s “like” button, Google announced its +1 button.  Online users can click the “+1” button and the content or ad will be shared with their social circle, and the public. It’s all fine and well, but I think they might get more results if they had put out a “dislike” -1 button. We’d all be clicking like there’s no tomorrow. All hail the rise of social SEO. (It’s been going on for awhile, but this just upped the ante.)

2.) Every year QR codes are announced as the new big thing, and finally they are beginning to get a little traction in North America. In 7 Reasons to Add QR Codes to Content Marketing author Heidi Cohen reminds us why we should get on board with QR codes.

3.) Did you miss World Backup Day? It’s never too late to start!  Everyone needs a disaster recovery plan.

4.) Content curation is blossoming. As we send out more and more info into the cloud, how do we care for it, watch over it? Joe Pulizzi has written an excellent article that shows just how important this issue is.

5.) Copyblogger has (as always) a lot of great insights about discovering the core desires of your audience and tapping into that to create compelling email subject lines. But, that said, expect a lot of email marked “You Are Not Alone”.

Friday Fun
With results like these, you may think that Google needs to hire Autocompleters.

But the truth is, it’s April Fools’ Day. The link leads to a job description that includes requirements like “Good typing skills (at least 32,000 WPM)”. But wait, that’s not all!! Check out this excellent coverage of all of Google’s shenanigans.

Google Cracks Down on Content Farms

Late last Thursday, Google explained some of the changes to the search engine giant’s algorithmic ranking, changes that noticeably impact about 11.8% of its queries.

This algorithm change is aimed at improving Google’s search results by filtering out “low-quality sites” and providing better ranking for high-quality sites. Which sites are considered high quality? Google says “sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”

Most SME websites are not content farms, which are generally defined as companies that employ large numbers of often freelance writers to generate large amounts of textual content designed to generate more advertising revenue. With any sweeping change, there may be perfectly legitimate companies that are lumped in with suspected content farms. Where smaller companies may run into trouble is when they use scrapped content to generate blog posts, product description, etc.

More importantly, I think this speaks to what each and every company should be doing: creating, regular useful content for the target audience. Companies that rely on a static, unchanging website just don’t cut it anymore. Informative articles, blog posts, news updates, online newsletters and other regularly updated materials have gone from “nice to have” to “must have”. It’s as simple as that.

What’s your company’s strategy for content?