You’ve probably heard the “Content is King” quote time and time again if you’re familiar with on-page SEO and have read any articles on creating content. However, have you ever stopped to think about who said “content is king”, where it actually came from and what was actually meant by the phrase? Well, that’s exactly what we’re here to tell you.
“Content is King” is the title of an essay written by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, all the way back in back at the beginning of 1996. However, in recent years since the emergence of digital marketing and search engine optimisation, the quote seems to have made quite a comeback, becoming synonymous with anyone speaking on the topic of either content marketing or creating content for SEO.
What did he mean by it?
We can estimate that good portion of people who have used the phrase ‘content is king’ haven’t actually sat down to read Bill Gates’ essay, well, at least not in its entirety.
Gates’s essay makes predictions for what the future holds for the internet and its functionality, believing that the content of the internet will be where the money lies and he wasn’t wrong!
In fact, Gates goes to make the assumption that the future of the internet’s success will be a lot like the success of the television industry, 50 years previous by saying:
“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting. The television revolution that began half a century ago spawned a number of industries, including the manufacturing of TV sets, but the long-term winners were those who used the medium to deliver information and entertainment.”
What did he mean by ‘content’ exactly?
So, you might be wondering what he means by ‘content’, and this is what he says:
“When it comes to an interactive network such as the Internet, the definition of “content” becomes very wide. For example, computer software is a form of content-an extremely important one, and the one that for Microsoft will remain by far the most important.”
What we can take from that is that Gates is referring to a lot more than written text when he relates to content. Instead, we can take this as he defines content as being not only just written material and computer software but also images, videos, interactive content, something which will differ from the type of content that magazines and newspapers produce, changing the reading experience completely.
“One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create. In a sense, the Internet is the multimedia equivalent of the photocopier. It allows material to be duplicated at low cost, no matter the size of the audience. The Internet also allows information to be distributed worldwide at basically zero marginal cost to the publisher. Opportunities are remarkable, and many companies are laying plans to create content for the Internet.”
Why is it still relevant over 20 years later?
Gates’ predictions for the future of the internet are startlingly accurate, in fact, we’re not entirely sure that he hasn’t got a time machine. Nevertheless, it is these predictions that perfect hit the nail on the head when it comes to the type of content which creates value to the users which content creators and website administrators should be creating.
“But to be successful online, a magazine can't just take what it has in print and move it to the electronic realm. There isn't enough depth or interactivity in print content to overcome the drawbacks of the online medium. If people are to be expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will. They need to have audio, and possibly video. They need an opportunity for personal involvement that goes far beyond that offered through the letters-to-the-editor pages of print magazines.”
Why is content the king?
So, why is good content important? Well…
Nowadays online content has overstepped the popularity of magazines and physical media, thanks to the growing popularity of the internet and the emergence of smartphones and tablets, meaning that we can access the internet wherever we go.
And as Gates said in his essay: “One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create. In a sense, the Internet is the multimedia equivalent of the photocopier. It allows material to be duplicated at low cost, no matter the size of the audience.” Meaning that competition and demand are now higher than ever.
But with so much competition, content creators and bloggers may be wondering how they create and distribute their content to prove how valuable it is and get it noticed by search engines and search engine users, here’s how they do it.
Content marketing is essentially the process of which involves you creating and distributing online content in order to correctly create valuable, high quality and helpful content to your users, to attract and interest clearly defined customers who would be interested in your online content or your business. (This is where the term: “content is king, but distribution is queen” comes from, but that’s a whole different article!)
Content marketing involves:
- Market research
- Creating content from that research
- Publishing content
- Distributing content using social media and outreach techniques
Content and SEO
SEO and content have an extremely close relationship, to the point where there can’t be one without the other. You can both use SEO techniques to improve your content in the eyes of search engines such as Google, as well as help your SEO by producing great content.
Content SEO involves:
- Keyword optimisation
- User intent
- User experience
- LSI keywords
Now you truly know and understand why content really is king when it comes to SEO!