Web Strategy

The rise of SEO linking strategy and the fall of eHow

The rise of SEO linking strategy and the fall of eHow

eHow is the dark side of content creation. The company has long been known as a content farm – a producer of low-quality articles that are churned out to pull in searchers. The problem is that many of these articles were poorly written or outright inaccurate.

According to a new article, it appears that changes to Google search algorithms have started to shut down content farms that are more interested in driving traffic than in producing informative, quality work.

Now, search rank has become sophisticated enough to filter out high quality material, rather than simply responding to keywords. In related news, the CEO and co-founder of Demand Media, eHow’s parent company, has resigned, presumably due to falling stock prices.

Now Quality Matters When Writing for SEO

It would appear that Google’s last few revisions to the search engine algorithm – made to weed out SEO abusers like eHow – have worked very well.  As Google has hampered the site’s ability to draw traffic via search manipulation, eHow has less eyeballs to sell to advertisers.

The article by Felix Gillette at Businessweek, asks, “Remember when Demand Media (DMD) was worth more than the New York Times?” Gillette notes that Demand’s stock has dropped from $22.61 per share in 2011 to a recent close of $5.34 per share.

Gillette notes, “In January 2011, according to ComScore data, Demand Media’s various sites were generating 75 million monthly unique visitors in the U.S. By August 2013, its sites were pulling in 53 million unique visitors.” 

Linking for SEO

Now Google puts much more credence into inbound links  to your articles from reliable external sites as well as social shares of the content. This tells Google that the article’s information is useful. Nobody shares or links back to crap.

This requires you to think not only about creating good content, but also to think about how you will distribute that content. As eHow (and countless shady SEO consultants) have learned, keyword stuffing is not enough anymore. The content must be relevant and sharable.

When you are creating media, as Jonah Peretti says, “Think Like the Mormons.” Think as much about how you will share your content as you do creating it, and have a plan to generate links back to content. It’s the new way forward in the world of search.

What did you think about this article? Do you agree? Leave your comments below.

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