Recently, Matt Cutts answered the question “Will SEO still exist in five years?” His answer is available here. To paraphrase, he said, “There will likely be SEO because there will always be people wanting to put the icing on the cake to get themselves found.”
I think that’s an obvious statement (not that I am taking anything away from everything Matt Cutts has said/done). I say this because the more search engines evolve combined with faster computers and more available computing power, the more they will have at their disposal to weed out the garbage. Eventually it will all boil down to content. How often do users actually search for advertisements?
The meme “Content Is King” refers to the idea that there should be unique or original text supporting whatever product or idea that you are trying to put forth. I believe that some of the biggest offenders of this are corporations (small or large). They are so intent on getting people on the phone that they (for the most part) do not put enough information on their web site about their products. Restaurants have their entire web site (including menus) in flash. This is a migration away from having original content sufficient to convey your intentions and ideas.
So as people create web sites, I believe that the following items need to be kept in mind:
- People come to you for your ideas. That means that your content is what separates you from the other guy. Once you engage your readers, they will continue to come back for more. If you just tease them with partial content, then they probably won’t come back more than once or twice.
- Context adds to the content. If you are consistently writing solid content about a subject, then people (and therefore search engines) will see all your ideas within the context of your content. For example, if you have a blog about cars and you write about a show that you went to at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City in April, then by context, the search engine and your readers will expect that to be about a car show. The more content you have, the more context is built up around your content.
- Don’t write towards the search engines. Write your content the way you want your ideas conveyed to people. The search engines will do the rest.
Although the content of a site is not the only thing that accounts for a quality site, it is certainly incredibly important. If one does not consistently have relevant content, then people will not continue to visit or link to their site. Content is not a concept to be overlooked in designing a web site, especially in the long term.