Rockets, Sleepers and Duds

    February 19, 2007

People love to throw around the “Content is King” cliché when discussing methods of luring incoming linkage in efforts to improve search rankings. The statement, while accurate, leaves much to be desired as far as practical application is concerned.

When it comes to content, everyone has theories on how to create and maintain quality. There are strategies to writing headlines, style of verbiage, and even paragraph spacing.

But what if content creation and optimization involved more than the technical aspects of copywriting, and are actually comprised of several stylistic elements that come together to form a kaleidoscope of subject matter that improved the overall quality of a website both immediately and in the long run?

An article at Pandia explores just such a question. The piece, entitled Using honey pots and sleepers to get higher search engine rankings, looks at several conceptual approaches to content creation.

First, we have the Rocket:

Rockets are articles that manage to catch the interest of web sites and readers right now. The point is to be there first with the news, so that your site is the one all the other bloggers and search sites are linking to. Not only do you generate a lot of links that way, you also get a lot of traffic.

Next, the Sleeper:

A sleeper is an article that does not take off like a rocket. Instead of thousands, you get a few hundred readers the first week — or even less. Still, in the long run this article may outperform a successful rocket.

This is why:

The search engines love good content and aim at listing articles that helps searchers find the information that they are looking for.

And, for the not-so-fortunate, the Dud:

There are articles that never will succeed, by a lack of fortune or, normally, due to a lack of quality.

The Web is full of duds. Such articles may attract a few readers down at the other end of the long tail, but when these people read your article, they will be sorely disappointed and never come back again.

Moreover: If 10 000 blogs have covered the role of Web 2.0 in search engine marketing, another article on the topic will normally not make an impression. Your only chance will be to present the phenomenon from at totally new perspective.

The article covers more categorical classifications of content that are helpful when trying to optimize a site. It’s definitely worth a read if you’re at all serious about improving the quality of your site’s subject matter.

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