Content is king – or is it?

website contentThe ‘Internet Gurus’ are always telling us that content is king and that we must strive to keep churning out ever-changing original content for our websites if we are to gain brownie points from the search engines.

You can’t stand still for a minute, keep those words flowing, they say, or your site will plummet to the depths of obscurity.

“Here, let me help you, invest in this course, watch that video from ‘my buddy’ John Doe, buy now from my link and get all these useless re-hashed bonuses ($597 value) for FREE!” You know the sort of thing, I’m sure.   

Got a website? No good, what you really need is a blog. “Here, let me help you…”

Got a blog? No good, you need to be getting into social media. “Here, let me help you…” Need I go on?

Content is king, of course

Now don’t get me wrong, if your content is crap you’re never going to get anywhere. It has to be well written, relevant and on topic. It has to have authority and it has to attract other sites to link to you. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be constantly changing.

What gives me the right to question all those SEO gurus? Experience! Now I’m not saying for a minute that I’m more experienced than them, I would be the first one to bow down to their greater knowledge. What I am saying is that from my experience this ‘constantly updated content’ theory doesn’t necessarily hold water.

What’s my experience?

One of my own websites from the early days is about Spanish Tapas. It’s a simple site built using tables (omg!) and a bit of css, and the design is never going to set the world on fire. (Edit 2012: I have now done a complete re-design, I couldn’t stand the look of it any longer!) Also, admittedly, it’s not in the most competitive market in the world, but it’s a nice little niche and it’s something that interests me.

Here is a site that I started in late 2005 and worked on for about a year. This work was obviously centred around creating content, getting the on-page SEO right and link building. (You know, all the stuff the ‘gurus’ want to sell you ebooks and courses about.) I ended up with over 50 pages of good (I think) content.

My aim was to get it to the top of Google, or at least above Wikipedia, as an exercise to show my SEO clients what I can do. Well now it’s there, alternating between position 1 and position 2 for my main keyword (which is ‘spanish tapas’ strangely enough!). It’s also on page 1 for many of my other keywords.

So what’s my point?

Well, the point is that since I finished working on it in Sept 2006 I’ve hardly updated the content at all! Yes, I keep an eye on it and check that everything is working from time to time but other than that it just sits there, looking after itself. Not only that but in the last three years it’s gone from PR3 to PR5.

It earns me a bit of passive income from affiliate links but I’m not going to get rich on it! That wasn’t the main object of the exercise anyway. The main point is that it’s there at number 1, and has been there for a long time, without the need for ever-changing content.

So which of you copywriting/seo/marketing/blogging ‘Gurus’ out there can explain why my humble little tapas website is lording it at the top of Google, all the while being basically ignored by me over the last three years?

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