Friday, June 10, 2011

Content Farms and SEO – what you need to know

What is a content farm?
A website (such as a blog) containing content that is run with the aim of appealing to search engines.

Why would someone create a content farm?
Search engines are a fast and easy way of finding information about all sorts of topics. If you can create content that people search for then you will get traffic to your site. You can then monetise this traffic in a number of ways, such as selling advertising or sending visitors to an eCommerce site for a commission (known as affiliate selling).

How do you create a content farm?
The main rule is you don’t write for your reader, you write for the terms your visitor is looking for and you ‘fill in the gaps’ with content.
I’m sure you have been to sites that read appallingly badly except they contain a lot of the search terms you type in to find the page…. You know the ones; it’s almost as if someone doesn’t actually care about what they have written except to stuff keywords into a posting. If you recognise this sort of site, its a good bet that you’ve visited a content farm..

But isn’t this what SEO people do anyway?
Well, sort of… but not really. A good Search Engine Optimisation professional will advise you to write content for your site around the topics and keywords that you want people to find in the search engines. They may get into more detail and ask you to write a list of the more popular terms you want to target…. and advise you to mention these on a regular (but not too often basis). They shouldn’t advise you to create page-upon-page of meaningless and keyword-packed content purely to target search traffic.
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