Web Content Mix Strategy

Budding web publishers have been asking me about what they should use as a guideline for their web content mix. Here’s my current thinking:

1) Original content that you have the exclusive rights to should be a min. of 25% of your content. Ride the long tail including sub-tails and you’ll never run out of content generation ideas. This can also include ghostwritten content that you have the exclusive rights to. Lastly, before anyone complains that they don’t have the time to write a few thousand articles this year: Well, then get your writing team to do it for you and just be certain it’s original works and that you have an exclusive right to the content.

2) Original content that you distribute/syndicate in exchange for a link back to your website should be another 25% of your content. Some publishers syndicate 100% of their original content. I’m not saying this is bad or wrong, but if you have hopes to grow your own web traffic, you’ll need to lean heavily on #3 below to create enough ‘uniqueness’ to your website to create market trust.

3) User generated content should represent at least 10% if not more of your total content mix.
Often times user generated content is original, but not guaranteed to be original. This can be in the form of blog comments, forum posts, submissions, votes in polls or online quiz’s, etc.

4) Syndicated content – ie: Content that is non-exclusive to you should never be more than 40-50% of your total content. I especially like this strategy when you can use it to go very vertical in a specific market niche. You can get syndicated content from sites like ours (25 reprint limit per site per year), our competitors, and especially from blogs or other RSS-aware sites that allow their content to be syndicated via XML feeds. Be sure to ask permission before using this type of content and always be a good netcitizen by reading and adhering to the TOS setup by the publisher of the feeds.

Notice that Private Label Rights (PLR) content didn’t even get added to the list. Garbage I say and not worth the headaches or liabilities.

One other web content type that I didn’t include is public domain content. There are very few that can use this type of content right and therefore I don’t advocate adding public domain content in your web content mix strategy.

Your thoughts about my content mix recommendations?

18 Comments »


1
Tammy Ames writes:

Chris ~ I agree with your content mix recommendations and I think it gives a standard that web publishers can work with to ensure having a content rich website that isn’t weighted heavily with duplicated content but more FRESH content.
Tammy

Comment provided March 19, 2006 at 11:19 AM

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david writes:

This is not an issue for me as every piece I submit is my original writing. The only time it’s not is when I’ve added quotes of some kind.

Comment provided March 22, 2006 at 11:13 AM

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3

Chris, I appreciate the breakdown, but I can’t totally agree with you on the PLR and public domain stance you’ve taken. I think it really depends on the source. I have bought some PLR articles and ebooks that are of high quality.

But… having said that, I think the key is to use that content as a jumping off point for creating your own original content. I have used PLR on a few different sites and what I usually do is take 2 or 3 different articles and use them to create a totally new page, with elements (not everything) from each. I also rewrite every article to match my unique writing tone.

I guess I look at PLR and public domain content as a quick way to do research on a topic. I don’t have to spend hours gathering all of the facts and thinking about how to organize them. I have it there at my fingertips and can then more easily write my original content, based on the PLR “research”. Sure, I still have to go out and gather more information sometimes, but it does give me a jumpstart.

Just my two cents, and we can certainly agree to disagree…
Kathi

Comment provided March 22, 2006 at 11:19 AM

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4
ivon t hughes writes:

I don,t know if the percentages are correct but this is your business so I’ll presume you are correct.

But a question.I market only about 10 types of life insurance and putting up “a few thousand articles this year” seems to run against Googles stance that you can’t/shouldn’t put up so many articles, even if original.

I welcome all comments.

Comment provided March 22, 2006 at 11:41 AM

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5
Jim writes:

I would agree with you. That is about the content mix I have tried to achieve. I thought search engines would like the original content that is not duplicated. However, I found that google tends to ignore the content that has not been syndicated- or at the most only receives a limited ranking.
Google tends to like popular content over original content. I have had articles that I did not syndicate sit for months at a time and never get indexed by google. Msn does a better job of ranking original non-syndicated articles. Yahoo.. yahoo likes old content even if it no longer exist.
So the problem I ran into was getting fast ranking prior to a holiday. I sell lingerie, so at Valentines Day I want as high a ranking as I can get. Syndication was the only answer. I needed content about Valentines day with as many links back as I could get. If I had not put my Valentine articles into syndication, I would not have had the traffic I did.
Site specific content is a different thing. News about my site is not relevent to anyone else and would not do any good to put into syndication. That accounts for about 10% of my content. Users don’t tend to post content, so that leaves me with a 90% syndicated and 10% that I hold on to.
I would prefer to be the only one offering my articles to my subscribers and users, however, I can’t get subscribers and users without a high page ranking.
Anyhow, that my 2 cents.

Comment provided March 22, 2006 at 11:48 AM

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Jim writes:

This is a reply to Ivon’s Question. The simple answer is the four rules of SEO:
1. Content
2. Content
3. Content

The 4th rule is NO DUPLICATE CONTENT! You don’t need a thousand articles, you need a few good content articles that are not the same content re-hashed. If other Insurance companies decide to list your content with a link back to you, then Google considers your site as an expert site. So as to how many? Simple, as many as it takes to get to number one in your field. The more competition the more content and poularity you will need.
For example I sell Lingerie and Google indexed 96,000,000 sites under that keyword. About 10% of those understand SEO and are creating content. That still puts me into competition with 9,600,000 sites. Of those, about 1% will continue to create content for syndication, now I am competing with 96,000 sites. I need a lot of content and popularity!
If I google Insurance I get 1,130,000,000 sites, your gonna need a lot of articles!

Comment provided March 22, 2006 at 12:12 PM

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7
Sam Serio writes:

Chris,
could you expand on your comment concerning the “right” way to use Public Domain content. I realize that Public Domain material would not apply to many Internet Marketing situations, but what of those niches for which it might be useable?

Comment provided March 22, 2006 at 12:51 PM

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Chris Knight writes:

Sam,

The problem with most folks who use public domain contact is that they use the content “AS IS” and don’t add any value to it.

That’s the real key… How do you ADD VALUE to the content. No one is interested in reading yet another site that has no unique value.

Hope that helps…

GENERAL NOTE ON PD CONTENT: EzineArticles.com does not accept public domain content including content from government websites, so please don’t send any of that in so we don’t have to reject it. Thanks!

Comment provided March 22, 2006 at 1:14 PM

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Al Thomas writes:

100% of every article I have submitted is my original work; you now have more than 250. I have not lifted any content from anyone else. Is that what you mean by syndicated?

Comment provided March 22, 2006 at 4:03 PM

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Sheryl writes:

I say, “give them a little,” and send them to your web site for the rest… Thanx!

Comment provided March 24, 2006 at 10:40 AM

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Claudia Mann writes:

Chris,

Our site is currently 100% origional content. I appreciated your comments on adding value to public domain articles. At some point I may do that.

Comment provided March 25, 2006 at 6:27 PM

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Chris Knight writes:

Claudia,

What? I never recommended adding PUBLIC DOMAIN articles.

Comment provided March 30, 2006 at 11:36 AM

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13
Elena writes:

Recently I have heard from several professional whose opinions I trust that Google has begun penalizing websites with duplicate content. That means I you publish (or allow someone else to publish) your article on two websites or more, they will pull the content from all but one of the websites and there is no knowing which website it will be.

Specifically, for example, if you publish an original article on Ezines Articles for worldwide distribution and also publish it on your website. Your website page with your original content could wind up deleted from the Google searches.

This is of such concern, that at least one website I’ve been invited to contribute to has only agreed to publish my articles provided I don’t publish them anywhere else online.

I asked Chris about this and he referred me to this page. Are any of you aware of this Google policy and recent policing? I would appreciate your comments.

Thanks!

Comment provided September 14, 2007 at 1:56 PM

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14
Rusty writes:

I too could use some clarification of duplicate content and Google.

So far I’ve only submitted a few articles to EzineArticles because I don’t submit articles already on my blogs. If I submitted 30% of them here too, it sure would make my life easier.

Comment provided March 1, 2009 at 8:13 PM

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15
Daniel Theron writes:

I use syndicated content on my blog which I receive from Syndicate Kahuna. However, the blog currently has an unhealthy original/syndicated ratio of about 1:6. It has helped me to build content, but at the expense of originality.

I would not recommend this ratio to anyone, except if you are a slow writer and need content quickly.

Comment provided March 2, 2009 at 3:36 AM

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16
Infoweb writes:

I haven’t yet used this web contents strategy although I love to put original and meaningful contents. I think I’ll have to revisit and take more time to understand.

Comment provided March 2, 2009 at 6:37 AM

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17

Rusty,

My understanding:

Google’s original duplicate content penalty was designed to penalize websites who duplicated content on their own website… meaning, identical content on their own site.

It’s safe to say that Google encourages websites to have a high percentage of unique, original and exclusive rights content… but look at the success of websites that syndicate a lot of their content: Newspaper industry is a great example. In these cases, Google figures out which copy of the article should be at the top of the results.

Conclusion: You’re leaving a LOT of money on the table if you don’t syndicate a percentage of your content into sites like ours who can expose your content to millions of people who would never otherwise be exposed to your articles and your expertise.

Comment provided March 2, 2009 at 7:03 AM

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18
Rusty writes:

There is something else.

It a poorly kept secret that the most important SEP that anyone can do is off your site. That is how many sites link to you.

Even if you do loose some of your content to other sites, as long as you keep the percentage right, you’ll be better off giving some away. Just an idea I had on this topic, I don’t profess to say I’m right but I think it might be on target.

Comment provided March 4, 2009 at 4:17 AM

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