Don’t Turn Your Practice’s Website into a ‘Content Farm’

March 10, 2011

If you’re thinking about ways to boost traffic to your practice's website, you may be tempted to add filler content. Well, now there’s an argument for quality over quantity. Google just changed its rules.

If you’re thinking about ways to boost traffic to your practice's website, you may be tempted to add filler content. Well, now there’s an argument for quality over quantity. Google just changed its rules.

Google will now penalize sites that use content generated by “content farms.” Such content, or articles, is usually of low quality and of poor relevance to the readers. The content is used to boost web site rankings, thereby attracting a large amount of traffic. The traffic, in turn, beckons sales through the website.

Content farms are businesses designed to construct articles for websites aimed at “fooling” the search engine bots. Articles may use certain keywords or phrases that are known to satisfy the search engine algorithms and, thereby, obtain enhanced website rankings. Thus, the articles are designed to placate the search engine algorithm, but not the reader. This is akin to the old “gimmick” of keyword stuffing.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the only technique whereby a website can gain, and sustain, high search engine rankings. This is the technique that allows a website to be #1 when you perform a search.

Google rewards websites with fresh and relevant content by improving the rankings. In Google’s mind, the higher the ranking, the higher likelihood that they are presenting to the reader web sites most relevant to their search. (Don’t you like when you search for something and you find the exact answer the first time?)

The use of content farms, however, distracts from this philosophy. The content is purposely constructed to satisfy the bots, but in doing so, the articles are poor in quality and of low relevance. These pages have become a nuisance when trying to research a topic.

This recent move further validates the value of content marketing (aka SEO). Only truly relevant, high-quality information will be awarded with high rankings.

This means that your own articles on your own site will be promoted and there is a higher likelihood your readers, and prospective patients, will find you faster and easier. If you are thinking of adding content to your site, go ahead, it’s the best thing you can do for your rankings! Just make sure it is content you are proud of, not just a collection of keywords.

Learn more about Randall Wong and our other contributing bloggers here.