Search engine optimization. SEO. Optimizing stories for search.
That’s how they do it at the farm — the content farm. That’s where writers are paid a pittance to write to a formula based on a specific set of words and phrases that some program says people are searching for.
It’s like the directions on a shampoo bottle. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
That’s not the type of content most companies would want associated with their brands. For most aggregators and farmers, it’s about cheating (they’ll use a different phrase) the system. All that matters is getting the clickover.
But what about when they get there? What about when they find a hollow collection of words? What happens when the reader realizes they were tricked and they’ll have to keep looking to find the information they were seeking?
Why would you want to be associated with being tricked? The truth is you wouldn’t. Who would?
Instead of cheap, farm-grown content, what about giving people who visit your site a richer, more customized experience, one that allows them to read information (which could still be found through search) without the pandering to an algorithm?
You’ll learn that those who stop by will find what you want them to find. You’ll offer them what you want to offer them, not make them go hunting all over the Web after they’ve landed there through extreme SEO.
SEO is not, on its own, evil. It’s the intentional computer-driven manipulation that drags the content to the point of having no appreciable value.
Farm-raised SEO-driven content is a way to get people to come to your site once. It not about giving the reader a positive experience or encouraging them to stop by again because they have already found something they’ve read to be of interest.
That’s also why Google, the overlord of search, has changed its algorithms to devalue that kind of junk content.
Getting good content that’s on point doesn’t have to be cost prohibitive, but it also can’t be done professionally for the dollar store bargain prices at the farm.
It’s not about smoke, mirrors, algorithms or cheap trickery. It’s all about content.