Text Content, not fancy graphics cause websites to rank in Google

The SEO industry has done a very poor job of explaining to business owners why they need to pay for writers to produce content… their idea of “content” is old school, they tend to want to do what they consider “tried and true” sales copy.. news flash.. sales copy is NOT content.

Web designers are painfully aware all of their new clients are asking for SEO to be “baked in” to their website.

Web designers also know SEO is not part of their skill set, perhaps on site SEO in the form of the site’s navigation layout and structure of the web pages.. but they routinely avoid counseling the business owner to make blog posts.. why? Because they have no idea of why THEY would want to do so, let alone risk telling the business owner they are clueless.

Web designers are in the business of getting you, the business owner, to cut them a check…

Web designers profit margins are highest when they let you, the business owner, tell them what verbiage to use. I’ve even consulted with web developers who asked for a meeting to learn what they didn’t know they needed, their response was.. “I’m NOT interested in writing content – I’ll let the business owner provide what to say on the website”

The problem is one of context.. from an SEO’s point of view

The sole reason for having a website, ANY website is to have it perform in Google search results

The dirty secret all web designers and graphics designers are in no hurry for business owners to find out is.. Googlebot is blind

it cannot “see” logos, header graphics, call to action graphics or photos

It “Sees” in braille. Googlebot is scouring the web, it feeds what it finds to a scoring algorithm, that algorithm is looking for CRITERIA.. if it doesn’t see the criteria it’s looking for.. you don’t earn Google Authority.

The algorithm has the same problem that, thus far, has prevented artificial intelligence or robots like Lt Commander Data from Star Trek from becoming a reality…

Subjective Distinctions

No algorithm can tell you why the Mona Lisa is beautiful, beauty is a subjective distinction. What an algorithm can do is tell you a LOT of information.. it can tell you a disproportionate number of people who:

  • have a college education
  • own their own home
  • own a newer car
  • have passports
  • tend to travel abroad
  • go to the theater

tend to “wanna have something to do with” clicking on a link that purports to be “The Mona Lisa”. I say purports because Google can’t really “see” if a reproduction is “the Mona Lisa” because all digital images are reproductions.. additionally, Google *could* trace the instances where it sees the Mona Lisa to the original painter.. except he’s been dead for hundreds of years.

Before any website, including your new glitzy recently redesigned website can “perform in Google search results” it has to earn Google Authority

What does that mean?

It means your website’s domain has to be deemed, in the algorithm’s eyes as being THE AUTHORITY in your genre.

If you compete nationwide, that’s a daunting task, HOWEVER…

if you’re competing locally, say within one county or your county and neighboring counties (Parishes if your doing business in Louisiana) then your task, as a *web developer* (and I’m choosing that phrase because it hints at being MORE than simply a web designer) is to gain Google Authority in your genre, IN YOUR GEOGRAPHICAL AREA

Geographical Google Juice

and that’s not going to happen without text, text articles

and text articles are not sales copy

NO Text = No Ranking.. end of story

A Relational Database

Google’s index is a relational database, to illustrate observe this:

Let’s say in your geographical area there are 5 hair stylist shops competing. All 5 of them have similar websites, if you look at 100 different hair stylist websites, like I have, you’ll see a sea of sameness. If you were an algorithm you’d see no reason for one to be more outstanding than any of the other ones.

But SOMEBODY has to be #1

In this hypothetical hair stylist competition, the one that’s currently #1 didn’t necessarily “earn it”, it still sucks (from an algorithm’s point of view) it merely sucks slightly less than the one’s that are #2 and #3. And coming in #4 or lower isn’t likely to put any money in your cash register. 34% of all the clicks go to who ever is in #1 in Google My Business ( the maps listings, formerly known as Google Places ), 18% go to #2 in Google My Business

PPC ads ( pay per click ) are almost never clicked on, Millenials report they avoid clicking on any paid ad altogether. Coming in #1 in the organic rankings ( the “regular” search results, under the paid sponsored ads and under the maps listings) bring in the 3rd largest chunk of traffic, showing up below that threshold and your website isn’t producing a profit, it’s an expense as opposed to being a profit center.

In some genres a paid PPC Google Adwords ad can earn a profit but only in certain industries/ certain genres and only if the ad title is a hook, an attention grabbing/ thought provoking bit of extremely good marketing.

… then and ONLY then are you “eligible” to present your copy to humans, and the website strategy changes gears (now that you rank, NOW you can begin to speak to humans)

If not sales copy then what kind of text are you talking about?

Domain Authority takes time. The first 6 months of a brand new domain, not an existing website,  it’s goal is to please the algorithm, and ONLY please the algorithm..  text articles NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION… yet are still written for humans in mind.

the goal is to write blog posts and website pages that are informative as if you wanted your website to be used in the Wikipedia page on your product or service.

AND NOTHING ELSE.. .unless and until we’ve managed to get the algorithm to see OUR website as THE AUTHORITY in our genre.. in our geographical area.

How long of a text article is required to pull this off?

Google was slick.. very slick

After years of cat n mouse with SEOs they made each update to the algorithm after 2013 roll out slowly over a period of months

The Panda update takes points off a website by penalizing what it deems “of low quality”

The Penguin update rewards good stuff

Those two distinctions make re-engineering the algo pretty much impossible

But us SEO’s needed some kind of “talking point” to convert leads into sales.. so some of us just guessed, others outright invented theories since it was extremely difficult to connect Correlation to Causality

For 3 years now the prevailing consensus was to write a 500 word article and under 250 was assumed “thin” content

Google just busted that concept… and now there’s proof from this website



particularly this snippet from that post:

Word Count & On Page Factors

Rethinking word count

While it is a good rule of thumb to ensure that any new content you create is over a certain word count, a low word count does not equal content that will get hit by Panda. In fact, there is a lot of content that Google not only thinks is quality, but content that Google is also rewarding with featured snippets.

John Mueller commented that there is no minimum word count when it comes to gauging content quality.

There’s no minimum length, and there’s no minimum number of articles a day that you have to post, nor even a minimum number of pages on a website. In most cases, quality is better than quantity. Our algorithms explicitly try to find and recommend websites that provide content that’s of high quality, unique, and compelling to users. Don’t fill your site with low-quality content, instead work on making sure that your site is the absolute best of its kind.

And if it did come down to word count, it would be so incredibly easy for spammers to game that fact. So it makes complete sense that word count isn’t a “content under X words is Pandalized” situation. But yet the poor recommendation from experts to remove content based on word count lives on.

Case in point: “How to hard boil eggs”

Here is a featured snippet and when you go to the actual webpage and remove the extraneous content such as navigation and related articles, you are left with an article of only 139 words.

Based on the theory that anything under 250 words is “thin”, then this site, if it had removed this content for being thin, not only would have lost rankings but also a featured snippet.

There are many other examples of pages with low word count, but because they answer the question fully, they not only rank well but grab a featured snippet too.

Yes I am for hire

David Bruce Jr 240 490-4646