People write articles in order to attract visitors to their websites, which raises their income in a very natural way (via Google AdSense
for instance). Depending on the subject of articles, competition, and relevance, search engines rank them worse or better. I won’t tell you to write 300-500 words articles, because I don’t think that this is the way. I proved that longer articles are ranked better on my sites. However, short articles could be ranked well too. So what’s the point of any article? Without any discussion, it’s the quality factor besides the originality.
What is quality?
“Quality of articles
”... What does it mean? How do search Engines’ algorithms decide which article is of good quality and which isn’t? Let me introduce you to the basic points of construction of any good written article.
- An article must contain enough words.
Generally, every article can be determined as a set of data. Data are always characterized by some functions, such as the number of characters, words, numbers and so on. So if you want to write a good article, try to use the standard rules which are unique for each language. There are schemes which can be used to determine the article language without reading it and intelligent search engines use them in order to determine if an article is written clearly and if people are able to understand it. This is why good English is so important!
- An article must contain enough unique words.
Even if articles contain enough words, they could be penalized or ranked poorly if they contain too many repetitive words. Imagine 1 sentence, which consists of 25 words. Then copy and paste this sentence 50 times and you will get a 1250 word article. Bear in mind that keyword stuffing is taken as spamming by all search engines and you should avoid this technique. In some special cases, building short content on any page is allowed. Not all pages contain enough words, because they care about design more than about content. For example, many pages about photographers, DJ’s, artists and so on don’t offer a user much content and what content there is is mostly based on images. There isn’t anything wrong with this and search engines know that. However, don't await huge traffic to such a page without having plenty of links!
- An article must contain theme based keywords.
Any article is ranked by focusing on its theme based content. This simply means you should use different forms of words. Why? It’s because a search engine will consider you to be more familiar to the language which an article is written in if you use phrases and if you vary the wording and the presentation of the most important words. The most used language worldwide is English. English offers you many different phrases to say the same thing. The same goes for simple words. Let me show you an example: car, auto, automobile, vehicle. Or PC, personal computer, computer. Even it is not possible to make such combinations in all cases, I strongly recommend you to use all possible variants, especially if they contain the same word root (auto and automobile). Also, a relationship between the most important words must exist. Let’s continue with our cars example. The word ‘wheel’; is related to cars as well as engine, motor, oil, gas, speed, transmission. We could go this way finding the most important and related words. If these conditions are satisfied, then you have a great chance of getting a very good ranking.
- An article must contain properly used stop words.
What are stop words? Is it bad to use them in the articles? The word ’stop’ naturally means something you should avoid. So from this point of view, the stop words should be called something else. The stop words are natural parts of any content and there’s no way you can avoid them. Basically, there’s no reason why they should be avoided. The stop words are words without any relevant content and they don’t mean anything in the sense of search engine optimization. If you write an article which consists of 500 words and there are 100 stop words in it, then your article really contains only 400 words. This is the reason why short articles can be ‘content free’. You will probably not get top10 rankings for any one word phrase just because of one article, so always think about people and what they’re looking for. Use words variations, the most common phrases, and use very clean language. Use stop words too, but if there’s a chance of avoiding a sentence like ‘It can be done’; and change it into ‘We’re able to reach the goal within the budget’ do it! But what is a stop word for example?... Here they are: "any, of, and, no, the, an" and so on!
Duplicate content problem
Besides the quality factors (which are very important in the process of analyzing and ranking any article), you should avoid creating duplicate content. Please note, that duplicate content is divided into two areas:
- Completely duplicated content.
This is simple ‘copy and paste’. There are many people who want high income online without any effort. Yes, the internet is full of such people and there are several ways to fight against them. These people simply buy some sites which are pumping data from other sites. Unfortunately, you can’t change the URLs of your articles, because you will lose PageRank for some while, the page’s age and so on. Once any URL exists anyone is able to show it's content on another page. That’s frustrating and the only guaranteed way of how to avoid stealing any content, is using IP based statistics besides a Google Analytics account. You will easily find out any illegal use of your content if your own statistics differ to the statistics which are provided by Google Analytics. In this case, I strongly recommend you to ban some IPs from accessing your site. This action has two main reasons. The first one relates to the advertisement. Imagine that someone who is using your content also shows some advertisement on their pages. This way he will get money which belongs to you. The second reason is that search engines will identify your content as duplicated, so you could get a penalty. Even if there is a discussion about this penalty, do the best for you and for your site and don’t let anybody copy your content!
However, people can still copy and paste content from your website manually. Your hair will turn grey if you want to catch all such people!
- More unfortunate ways of how to create duplicate content is that you will write some article and it’s characteristics will be very similar to some other article which already exists. Well, you never know if your article is completely unique. For example, your article will contain 10 main keywords which are already present in another article in the same order and with the same presence. This is how article re-write software works.
The best way how to create unique content is to write your own articles, write them for your site (refer to other documents of your website), so no-one else will find them useful for their sites. Don’t forget to place links into the articles to other articles of yours on the same website. Use images as well as static references to other parts of electronic documents which are already present on your site. Also, always use your name below every article. Using your name is much better than using the site name, because if your articles are completely copied, your name will appear there. Unlike the site name, which can be easily replaced, your name will be determined in not such an easy way.
At least one advantage if your content has been stolen
But sometimes it’s good if someone steals your content without any permission. It’s where a link to the original site will appear on that page with stolen content. On the other hand, there’s no guarantee that you will profit from this strategy.
Modified on October 12, 2009; Originally published on August 18, 2007