Ever since the inaugural internet like technology called Arpanet was created on October 29th, 1969 people have been trying to figure out how to share content online. One of the original building blocks of the internet, content has played a major role in search engine optimization (SEO) since the inception of databases and browsers on the world wide web. From the original time the two computers at Stanford and UCLA were connected on Arpanet sending the first message ever across a network, which was supposed to be “Login” but crashed on the letter “g”, content and communication continues to grow at an exponential pace. Nearly worthless without content to discover and display, search engines rely on the substance of text, words, pictures, audio, videos, information and data to derive value and distribute messages to internet users. Taking on a variety of forms and constantly evolving, content provides the backbone to all of the search engine optimization (SEO) results we still see to this day.

As one of the most basic and fundamental aspects of the world wide web and search engine optimization (SEO), content gives us the ability to learn, grow and converse in unique and exciting ways. Built entirely on the content they have access to, search engines thrive off compositions, ideas and well presented subject matters. Living in a world where not all content is created equally, search engines must decipher and disseminate only the very best and most relevant content that is created online. This competitive environment where only powerful and premiere messaging makes it to the forefront of search rankings and results paves the way for a wide variety of SEO and search engine marketing (SEM) methods and strategies to excel over other less desirable content substances and forms. So how does content ultimately fit into the basics of search engine optimization (SEO)? By understanding the most important aspects and fundamentals of search engine optimization friendly content it is then we can form the foundations to our own SEO and SEM plans and production.

SEO Basics – Content Characteristic #1: Why Content Is Important

Content is vitally important to search engine optimization (SEO) because it allows for businesses, companies, brands and websites to make a connection with search engines. Content is the component that keeps searches running making it one of the single most critical keys to the ranking and results equation. Search engines are constantly looking for, organizing and prioritizing new and old valuable information which is why content is so crucial to the overall online experience. The vast majority of people use the internet to find data, products, services while conversing with others and the only viable way to really do this is through the channels and platforms that facilitate the creation, curation and presentation of material and knowledge.

The world wide web in general, and search engines specifically, are essentially blank spaces without content which is why many search engine optimization consultants and experts still consider it “king” of all things SEO and SEM to this very day.

SEO Basics – Content Characteristic #2: How To Create Effective Content

Designing effective content for search engine optimization (SEO) is about creating the types of content that have historically performed well within search engine algorithms. Some of the most popular forms of content found in search engines includes blog posts, short-form evergreen articles, long-form thesis’, photo galleries, detailed lists, interactive tools, comprehensive category pillars and landers, guides and how to’s, infographics, video, and much more. Building content that sticks is about providing high quality, unique, engaging and intriguing information in a likeable and easily digestible format. It requires heavy research, a high level of expertise and an elevated amount of experience within the framework of search engine optimization (SEO) algorithms.

Separate goals and missions require different approaches and formats to content. Regardless, one must always remember that value and understanding to the search engines and the user must always remain a top priority. Clear, concise and catchy content is what finds its way to the top of search results, browser bookmarks, and people’s online interests. Only by offering up such instruction and intelligence on a consistent basis can the leaders be distinguished from the stragglers.

SEO Basics – Content Characteristic #3: Build For Searchers Not Search Engines

When building content you must always keep in mind that ultimately it will be people and not computers that are looking for wisdom and enlightenment on the internet. While computers and technology are what sort, store and output content, it is humans that drive the determining factors in regards to what material is most wanted by search engine algorithms and displays.

On the surface it may seem that search engines cultivate the content but in reality all they are built to do is to satisfy their users, placing the need to cater to real life scenarios and interactions above all else. Search engines are simply a tool that people use to uncover what they want to find online and tailoring content to human emotions, senses and desires is what makes for successful search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns.

Great search engines are built by people, for the people, which is why content should mainly focus on it’s relationship to humanity rather than technology. Search engines would remain near dormant and useless without human activity accelerating their utility, so taking a “searcher first” approach to content gives you the greatest opportunity to flourish in the results of search engines.

From articles, to audio files, to presentations, to pictures, to videos, to local citations, to blogs, to events, to bookmarks, to profiles, to press releases, to forums, to how to guides, to lists, to surveys, to polls, to social media and everything in between regardless of the kind of content you are creating it must be usable and valuable to both search engines and people. Content is a cornerstone to search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) making it one of the most important aspects of the internet and online experience. Without content the world wide web would not be what it is today which is why generating improved information on a continual basis is so crucial to even the very basics of search engine optimization (SEO).