Content Marketing the “new” SEO?

Content Marketing the “new” SEO?

Jen Ribble at ExactTarget’s blog described her recent revelations from the Toronto ClickZ Internet Marketing conference: On one side were the old-school folks who’ve been doing SEO since the dawn of the internet. They often joked nostalgically about missing days when you could easily “trick” the search engines, and their talks seemed highly focused on metrics and metadata and techniques like link building and keyword placement.

the biggest biggest content marketing challenges

On the flip side were those who seem to take a new approach to SEO. They talked a lot more about content and engagement than keywords and search rankings. Not that they dismissed these important concepts, they simply suggested that the real secret of SEO is great content.


Ribble found herself thinking… “wait a minute, that sounds a lot like content marketing!”

So, does this mean that content marketing is the new SEO?

Not exactly.

Content marketing isn’t new – Content has been the lifeblood of marketing for decades–I’m talking about whitepapers, case studies, webinars, podcasts, video, blogs, etc. There’s no “marketing” without that stuff, right? We’ve just come up with the term “content marketing” to distinguish between inbound efforts (creating reasons for customers to come to you) and outbound efforts (the traditional selling process). So content marketing isn’t some new toy that replaces SEO–it’s always been part of the mix.

The truth is that content marketing and SEO must work together to drive traffic and conversions. As search engines continue to improve–from Panda to Penguin to Python to Platypus–it’s no longer enough to cobble together a website full of poorly-written content, pack it full of keywords and tags, throw a few links at it, and watch your rankings rise. In order to rank well, you need great, sharable content–and the links that come with it. SEO needs content marketing–and vice versa.

The best news in all of this? Good content will survive a whole host of algorithm updates! The point behind all those mysterious updates is to weed out spammy content. If your content is solid and your audience is engaged, the search engines will be able to tell–so you won’t need to completely re-think your strategy next time Google trots out its next algorithm update.

One comment

  1. I must agree. It used to to be that SEO was about “hidden content” and not real human content. Now that content IS SEO, to organize and syndicate the content requires a true Project Management Mindset.

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