The days of schlocky web copy and $1/post off-shore blog writing are over.
Thanks to Google’s new Panda update, your writing can no longer suck. You can’t just get by on 8th grade writing skills, or by hiring an off-shore blog writer for a buck a post anymore.
The new Google Panda update stresses usability and the user experience over whether you have the right keywords in your title and body copy, and over backlinks. Oh sure, they’re still counted, but Google is not putting as much emphasis on those as they once were, thanks to the recent JC Penney backlinking scandal.
As a result of this, and other Google gaming-techniques that were being abused, Google said, “You know what? That’s it. No more trying to trick us. Now we’re going to start looking at what your users are doing.” (Watch the Rand Fishkin video at the bottom of this post for a much better explanation than I just gave.)
Now, Google is starting to pay attention to the user experience: Do they visit more than one page, which means they like what they see? Are they on for a minute or more, or do they bounce out after 10 seconds, which means you didn’t captivate them? Did they even visit your page when you were at the top of the search engine (i.e. did your page even look interesting)?
The short of it is, if your site sucks, people won’t visit. If they visit, they won’t stick around. And they certainly won’t subject themselves to more than one page of it.
So how do you get them to stick around? You’d better have great content. Not just good enough, not barely readable. Not “meh.” It needs to be awesome.
Photo credit: peromhc (Flickr)