Welcome to episode 67 of This Week Online Today, where I will be talking to you about the big online news that has been happening this week today to make sure that you are ahead of the game when it comes to running your online brand successfully.
And if you have already subscribed to the newsletter, you will also receive an exclusive bonus tip of the week to help you further about this topic.
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In this episode of This Week Online Today, I talk about the following:
- what is this “lazy content” we are talking about and the problems behind it?
- the problem with lazy content for audience
- how lazy content can still attract more Google organic traffic
- what should you do about it and what should you do instead?
- Original tweet about the so-called “SEO hack”
- The response to that tweet and subsequent thread discussion
Welcome to This Week Online Today podcast with your host, Ahmed Khalifa, where I’ll be talking to you about the big online news that has been happening this week today to make sure that you are ahead of the game when it comes to running your online brand successfully. At the end of the show, I’ll also be giving you a bonus tip of the week to help you further.
So, let’s get straight on to the show.
That’s right, welcome to This Week Online Today, episode 67, with an interesting topic today about being lazy with your content. Where do I start with this? Well, there is a tweet that has gone out this week and kind of sparked the whole conversation, and it’s an interesting one, really, because basically this person has suggested like an SEO hack, and he, for some reason, tagged influencers, as well.
Basically, I’ll read it out, the quote. He said that, “As we are heading toward 2019, all title tags on 31st of December will be changed to how to rank in 2019, or 10,000 way to rank in 2019, and #SEO, and then hack beside it.” So basically what he’s saying is, if you have a title, like he said, how to rank in 2018, on the 31st of December of 2018, you’re going to adjust it, so that the new year come, you update it with the new year. He’s saying that’s an SEO hack, which is not true. But anyway, we’ll come to that in a second.
— Anil Thakur (@anilthakur2u) August 15, 2018
This kind of started a whole conversation when a webmaster trends analyst at Google, his name is John Mueller, and he’s someone who pitches in or talks about SEO and providing information and advice, that kind of stuff. But he kind of came in because he’s been tagged in that tweet and he’s decided to give his input, and with his content hat on, not necessarily his Google hat on.
So he decided to pitch in with that tweet. Let me read his tweet out to you, and by the way, I will link it in the show note and you can read it yourself, as well, and read all the conversation in that Twitter thread.
Anyway, John has kind of got back to that tweet, and he said, I quote, “As a user, recognising that old content is just being relabeled as new completely kills any authority that I thought the author/site had. Good content is not lazy content. SEO hacks don’t make a site great. Give your content and users the respect they deserve.” And from there, conversation started and people pitching in and say, “Yeah, I agree/ disagree,” some crazy comment about Google’s being a pain and whatever. Whatever he says, someone’s not happy. But anyway, that’s his thing.
As a user, recognizing that old content is just being relabeled as new completely kills any authority that I thought the author / site had. Good content is not lazy content. SEO hacks don’t make a site great. Give your content and users the respect they deserve. https://t.co/aEWhH0KnGw
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) August 15, 2018
I gonna put in my kind of input into this as well, and there are some logic to what he said and a lot of people commented on that thread, there are some logic behind it. So, lazy content is not a good thing. SEO hacks, there are some tips here and there that could help you, quick wins here and there, but in general, if you’re gonna be lazy with your content, you’re not doing yourself any favour at all.
If you have an evergreen content, always gonna get traffic, and if you have older content that’s getting traffic, if you’re going to make it up to date and you change the year in the title and your metadata and your heading, and you update the content in the actual body itself, that’s different. That’s not lazy. If you’re gonna update it and make it relevant and up to date, that’s different. We’re talking about here where if someone just update the title tag and the heading and that’s it. If you are just doing that, then that is a bit lazy.
That applies not just to blog posts but even videos that you see on YouTube or podcasts. Same thing you see there is that they just change the title and that’s it. A few people have mentioned in that thread that good content is not lazy content, and that’s what lazy content is, if you just update the year and that’s it. That’s pretty lazy. The problem is, though, is it does work when it come to Google search, and this is the problem now. You’re kind of trying to give good service to your audience but then also getting traffic from Google, as well.
This is a thing that applies to almost any industry, if you have updated your title and you included the latest date or year. For example, “The Best Hotels in London 2019”, when it comes, or “Best Video Game in 2019”, when it comes. If you have just left that content the same and you updated it, and you could change year after year the year itself, the thing is, Google will still kind of, I quote, “reward you” with good ranking and traffic, even if you haven’t updated anything.
And that’s what get people really, really frustrated, is that lazy content does work at times, for now, anyway, because they still get rank, and that’s what get a lot of people frustrated is that you put a lot of effort into maintaining and updating old content, make it relevant, make it evergreen, make it fresh and new and up to date, yet you still see these people who just update the year, that’s it, and then they rank high. So, it’s very annoying.
Google are not perfect, I know that, but they kind of need to work on that, among many, many thing. But even they admit that they have a lot of work to do with their algorithm. So what do you do then? Do you just wait and just hope that they work eventually and wait for many years to come until they fix that problem? Well, there is something that you could do and really it is you focus on your audience and give them what they want, not just Google.
There is logic behind that quote that John said, “Give your content and users the respect they deserve.” Now, I know Google can be a bit annoying because they can be a bit of a hypocrite sometime with their recommendation. But anyway, let’s put that aside and talk about that, because there is logic behind that.
You should respect your audience. You should give them what they’re looking for. What’s the point of attracting all that traffic and you’re not giving them what they want, and then they leave. If you give them what they want, they’re more likely to engage with you.
So, I’m not saying you can’t update your old content. You can update it. You’re allowed to do that. I’ve mentioned earlier, it’s a good thing to do. But as I said, updating it mean you’re doing more than just update the title and then that’s it. You give them good service, be the best that you can for them by making it relevant for them.
There are even times where maybe you should delete your content. There are times that maybe that applies to you, because it’s just not relevant, it’s not providing any justice for anyone, it’s not helping anyone at all, it’s not adding value, so maybe it’s better to delete it. That’s another story as well. It’s up to you to work that out. Maybe it’s better to update or delete or who knows, or maybe a brand content to make it fresh again.
It’s all well and good you get a lot of traffic, fresh traffic from Google. That’s great. We all love that. We all want that. We want more of that. But if you are tracking all that traffic and you are deceiving your audience by having lazy content as a result, you’re not doing yourself any favour in the long-term when you’re kind of lying, almost, to your audience.
There are times where it is better to rank second or third on Google and attract the right type of traffic and people who enjoy your content. It’s better to have that than ranking first for attracting the wrong traffic or you’re deceiving your audience or you’re lying to your audience.
And you might be wondering then if you have the best content, why are you not ranking number one? Well, that’s Google for you. You might have the best, perfect content out there, but at the end of the day, it’s the algorithms that decide, kind of thing.
Might be wrong. There are times where I disagreed with ranking and just that’s the way we living right now, but it’s an algorithm that’s constantly changing and it will get better, hopefully, eventually, because Google doesn’t get anything from having really poor quality search result.
So we will continue seeing poor quality content ranking high. This is a problem where some people believe that they have one rule for one website, another for another. I’m not really sure if that’s true. I don’t really think so, but there are … I’ve heard people say that it’s kind of existing.
As I said, you don’t have control over what Google does, but you do have control over your own website. Give your audience what they want, even if you get less traffic than the person ranking above you, and they not getting that right traffic.
Maybe they had the wrong content on there. There is a benefit over that, because you could still get people go to that page, they didn’t get what they’re looking for. They go back in a search result and then they go to your page and they find you. Who do you think they’re going to trust? Who do you think they’re going to trust if they have been deceived by someone just updated an old article by just having 2019 on it, or whatever year? You’re going to listen to this?
And yours, which is up to date everywhere. You have mentioned it, latest news, latest hotels to stay in London, latest video game, latest car to buy, whatever it is. Who do think they’re gonna trust? Obviously, they’re going to trust you. Believe in what you’re doing, which is to provide for your audience, not just Google. And eventually, you will provide for both your audience and Google, and that’s a dream combination, isn’t it, if you provide for both of them?
But if you focus only on Google, then you have to think about whether you are giving your audience what they want. Just think about that.
So that’s the thing about lazy content, is you’re showing disrespect to your audience. Is Google helping? No, they’re not. It doesn’t mean that you kind of take advantage of that. You still think about your audience. They are humans interacting with your pages. No, don’t think of them as just a number on your performance metric. They’re humans. They’re interacting with you.
So, don’t be lazy with it. Show them some respect with your content and respect their time for finding and accessing your page and give them what they want. Eventually, it will pay off in the long-term.
So I hope that makes sense to you. I hope you appreciate what I’m saying. If you think I’m wrong, if you disagree with what I’m saying, let me know. Just contact me. You’ve got the social media link in the show note. You can contact me and let me know, and if you say I’m wrong, why am I wrong? Let me know what you think because I’m curious to see what you think, as well. And I appreciate you listening to the podcast.
Thank you and I’ll see you next time. Take care.
Thank you for listening to this episode of This Week Online Today. I really do appreciate it and I hope you found it useful. If you have enjoyed this show, please do leave a review on iTunes. It would mean the world to me. I really would appreciate that.
Thank you again. You rock. And one more thing, I just want to remind you to do your thing, because it matters. And I’ll see you next week.
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