Five Lessons Search Firms Can Learn From The Content Farms

Posted by in Search Marketing (SEO) on September 13th, 2010 0 Comments

There’s been a lot of talk recently of the huge amount of search traffic Demand Media are getting from natural search which was disclosed in their documents going with their planned IPO.

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If you’ve not come across these guys before they operate online brands such as eHow, LIVESTRONG.COM and Cracked and other website’s you’ll keep come across on longtail search terms.

It’s clear that more than any other company in the world they’ve really got their head around what currently works in Google and made sure their business is aligned with those ranking factors.

They’ve received plenty of criticism for their approach but I think just about every search marketer could learn some valuable lessons Demand Media’ approach.

Domain Authority Counts

Not all Demand Media’s websites are the same, but they follow a predictable playbook. Get a website, build some trust then expand out the content at an explosive rate.

Most search marketers realise they need to be building the domain authority of a site to improve it’s search rankings, but not many are equipped to take this domain authority and expand the site content to capitalise on new search marketing opportunities.

As you’re trust rises so should the number of pages on your site targeting search engine traffic.

Content is King – So Do Something About It

I’m not sure how long the phrase ‘content is king’ has been around for but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was on the magna carta. We all know it, we all repeat but I don’t see many people doing anything about it.

Demand Media saw the importance of unique keyword rich content and got working on it. They didn’t add it to a recommendations document and twiddle their thumbs. For every website you’re working on you should be knee deep in content ideas in various stages of completion.

Don’t use the fact it requires seven different people to sign it off as an excuse, if anything, extensive sign-off requirements and compliance issues should make getting started more urgent because it could take weeks to get something up on the site.

You Need Flexibility in copywriting resource.

Can you imagine how big an office Demand Media would need if everyone who’d written for them had a desk?

You need to be agile with your writing resource, fortunately writing is a career where freelancers, mercenaries and contractors are far from unusual.

You’re not going to be able to have writers who can cover every conceivable topic sat round the corner from you in your office.

Freelance writers and other content creators will have far more vertical knowledge than a generalist, they’ll probably be better value for money as well.

People Will Carry Out Small Tasks For Small Fees

People don’t get paid much to write an article for Demand Media; but people still do. There’s a real change happening in how people get paid for work.

Explore elance and other outsourcing market places.

I have least a dozen ideas for ways services like Mechanical Turk could revolutionize the search marketing process, you could probably come up with more…

The Skills’ of A Creative Has Never Been More Valuable

A lot of people have criticized content farms for commoditizing creativity and devaluing the skill of writers. That’s probably the price we have to pay for the democracy of everyone becoming publisher.

But I see it in another way.

It’s never been easier for someone with creative skills to get attention and maybe make some money from their talent. Great news with anyone with a creative urge. But also anyone with stand out skill and insight is in more demand. To get through the noise to attract the links we SEOs obsess over you need to make something magnificent. If you’re the type of person who can make something that people will adore I think the future is pretty rosy.

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