As a professional copywriter and long-time internet marketer, I rejoiced when, a few weeks ago, Google finally succumbed to the mounting pressure being put on them to do something about the quality of their search results.
Even better news came last week when rival search firm Blekko has announced it has banned several prominent content mills from its index – notably eHow, encyclopedia.com and AnswerBag.com.
For those not in-the-know, the issue surrounds ‘content mills’ (aka content farms) whose entire business model is built on creating thousands of low-value, poorly written, nearly copied-and-pasted-from-elsewhere content. This content attracts attention in the search listings, and of course, people click to those sites. They are usually greeted with poor content, tons of ads, redirects and worse. This practice (what amounts to web spam) is a pure play at gaming the Google-system for profit. I’ve written about this before on the blog – Is ‘just okay’ good enough for your brand?.
So what does this have to do with your copywriter?
You get what you pay for
The content mills seem to have caused a spin-off effect of devaluing ALL content. They have convinced, not just advertisers, but also many new writers that $1 for a 500 word article is an acceptable rate (it’s not).
This shift in the sincerity of the search engines to do something about spam means that quality content (well written, well sourced, high-value) will return to the top of the search engine listings pages.
It also means that it’s time to stop thinking about content as a cheap typing job.
It means, develop your relationship with your copywriter now, because once Google makes the change to placing higher value on high-quality content, your copywriter will be your best friend.
Your customers will pay for valuable information
Having seen the rubbish out there, your customers will appreciate (and yes, pay for) your high-quality content. They’ll pay for it by giving you their email address, or adding you on Twitter. They’ll pay for it by downloading your free samples, or white papers and coming back for more.
They’ll pay for it by returning to your products or services again and again, because they know that you get what you pay for.
And by getting great content, and reading quality copy, they’ll know you offer only the best.
This isn’t new to us, though. We’ve always said great writing achieves great results.
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Steve Kellas is a freelance copywriter and teaches web copywriting to businesses across the UK.