I gave a very brief talk at Real Estate BarCamp today about SEO. The entire talk was about 30 minutes, which is barely time to scratch the surface, but one line garnered the wrath of a couple of the attendees.
If a you come across an awesome piece of content, grab it, tweak it and publish it on your own site. (I can’t remember exactly what I said, but it was something like that).
If that came across as “steal content”, that’s not what I meant. I went on to try to explain that if you can write a 500 word blog post 4 or 5 days a week, then God bless you, but I doubt most of the realtors in the room have that kind of time, motivation or writing chops. Many may have no desire to spend 2-3 hours every night writing, so I offered a very popular short cut.
The fact that most of the people in the room raised their hand when I asked who never really updates their site was depressing, but not unexpected.
If I could wave a magic wand and get every person attending to write an additional 3,500 words every week for their website I would. Original content that is thought provoking, emotional and creates action is always the first choice – just like eating healthy at every meal and flossing twice a day, yet McDonald’s and gum disease flourish.
One woman in the back who was also “anti” said as a former journalist she was morally opposed to my idea, but I won’t get off on a tangent about how often journalists steal content from other sites.
I went on to try better explain what I meant. If you just copy and paste content, it won’t help you. But if you take an article and rework it so that it is at least 20% or so different than the other article, Google will probably view it as a new document. I explained that it doesn’t mean you change the “her” to “him” and call it a day, you basically have to give it your voice. This type of editing can still take some time, so it’s not a panacea.
I didn’t bother bringing up wp-robot that automatically scrapes and reassembles other peoples work into a brand new piece of content, but with content creation becoming the backbone of most search marketing efforts , maybe I should have.
What I tried to leave the group with was:
- Get more and better links
- Write great content so that you become an authority
- Listen better in the social networks
Here’s my slides from the presentation.