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What Exactly Does Google Perceive As "content"?


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#1 eeyipes

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 01:05 AM

I have a coupon site, and it's been panda attacked.
I believe part of the problem was duplicate store descriptions that were shared with minor niche sites I owned. These sites never got any traffic anyway, so I've nuked them. Another was the occasional use of merchant provided copy, which others have used as well. I'm working on making sure all descriptions are unique.

Now that the duplicate content is being scrubbed, I'm turning by attention more to how to provide quality content that both help my visitors and help my store pages rank better. The current format for a store page is a title, short 2-3 sentence description of the store, a list of the current coupon offers, and a short footer paragraph thanking the visitor for using my site and encouraging them to leave a store rating and review. The content my visitor is after is simply the coupons, and I'm sure they will appreciate the store reviews if I can get enough traffic for them to build up in time. My concern is that google doesn't view my offer listings as content, and deems the short description as being thin.

I currently also have 2 blogs on site - one with short daily deal type postings, and the other with longer articles (700+ words) with general couponing and savings tips. I Facebook, Google +, and Tweet.

So I'm looking for ideas to beef up quality content on these pages in a way that won't overload the user yet help my site to rank better, and I'm open to any and all suggestions.

Should I...

* Try to beef up the store descriptions, to say, 5-6 sentences, or 2 short paragraphs? I'm afraid that any longer than that will become an annoyance to visitors just looking for their coupon.

* Add an embedded youtube video, under the fold, about the store or one of their products, if they have one available?

* Add a store product widget, when available, under the fold. This would be in cases where it can be offered 3rd party, as I just don't have the resources to manage thousands of product datafeeds.

* Is there a way to label or mark up the offers, so Google can understand better that they are an important part of my content?

Thanks for any insight!

#2 chrishirst

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:38 AM

* Is there a way to label or mark up the offers, so Google can understand better that they are an important part of my content?

Put some words in the document that IS your content

* Try to beef up the store descriptions, to say, 5-6 sentences, or 2 short paragraphs? I'm afraid that any longer than that will become an annoyance to visitors just looking for their coupon.

Yes, why would it be an "annoyance" it's not as if you are forcing them to read it, but if it isn't there how can a search engines read it and therefore maybe push some of their user your way.

And just like ANY kind of marketing your "call to action", in this case your coupon, should be prominent and obvious.

#3 torka

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 08:25 AM

Some people actually prefer longer copy (to the point there's actually a saying in some quarters: "Long copy sells"). And there are ways of formatting and laying out your pages and their content so you won't "annoy" those who prefer shorter copy. As Chris says, make sure your coupon call to action is prominent and obvious. Those who don't want to read will be able to jump straight to it, while those who want/need more info can delve into the on-page content.

You might want to look over some articles about copywriting for different personality types. There are several different personality type schemas used by different copywriters. Most tend to separate people into four general groups; what differs between one and another is in the criteria they use for identifying each group. What they all agree on is that each group is looking for something different. For instance, some people want "just the facts, m'am" while others are looking for social validation (i.e. "people like me use this product").

Just Google something like "personality types for copywriting" and read a few of the articles. Find a personality type schema that appeals to you and start working on your site content accordingly. If you can include elements to appeal to each personality type, you're more likely to get higher conversions from your human visitors because you'll have the type of content that appeals to each -- and (as Chris pointed out) it all counts as "content" as far as the search engines are concerned.

My :02:

--Torka :propeller:




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