Great Content and Google Quality: An Important Factor

March 30, 2015

I read “Facebook Hosting Doesn’t Change Things, the World Already Changed.” The idea is that there are some apparent truths to which everyone needs to kowtow. Examples of these statements about the status quo include:

  • News is a commodity
  • Marketing is cheaper
  • Getting attention is tough
  • Facebook and Twitter are the feeders to the information highway’s best tourist stops.

You can work through the other statements on the list.

There are some examples of success. One of which is Adam Carolla, the former radio personality turned into a podcasting and liquor machine. Other apparent winners are Buzzfeed and HBO.

The point is that great content is not a commodity. Greatness, by definition, is for the few who are—well—great.

The only hitch in the git along is that Google seems to be in the greatness game. The idea is that Google’s quality score will make certain content findable. Now I don’t know much about real publishing nor do I have the skinny on Google’s Deep Thoughts.

It seems to me that if Google defines great content by making it findable to the universe of users its serves each day, then folks with content excluded from the Google podium have some “facts” to confront.

First, Google will want to get paid to make another person’s great content findable to Google’s great content machine. Think Adwords, conforming to Google’s webmaster policies, and generally being part of the great, big, happy Google family.

Second, great content about topics other than Lady Gaga, crooked contractors, and faux Rome may not mesh with the university of Facebookers and Tweeters. Examples include developments in genetic engineering, solid state physics, and analyses of Heisenberg’s marginalia.

I am okay with big media companies asserting their content is great. I am okay with real journalists cranking out detailed analyses.

But I think the notion of “great” has to adjust to Google’s increasing skill in assigning a quality score. If Google’s methods flag content as great, the publisher gets a gold star like those Miss Costello handed out in the sixth grade. If Google does not pass out a star or even an “Also Participated” certificate, the notion of “great” may need some fine tuning.

But there are options. Facebook and Twitter await. Good if one if Lady Gaga or a denizen of Silicon Valley, Madison Avenue, and Austin coffee shops.

Where’s the money? Probably near those who are able to define great and make it visible.

Stephen E Arnold, March 30, 2015


One Response to “Great Content and Google Quality: An Important Factor”

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