• author: ambITious

Why Substance Always Beats Style in Ranking Content on Google

In the digital age, where attention spans are increasingly shorter and aesthetics often take precedence, it may seem counterintuitive to prioritize substance over style. However, when it comes to ranking content on search engines like Google, substance consistently proves to be the winner. This article aims to delve into this phenomenon by analyzing a particular blog post that defies conventional wisdom and ranks incredibly well on Google, despite lacking flashy visuals and adhering to a more traditional format.

The Power of a Captivating Title

The blog post in question has a seemingly dull title: "Salary Negotiation: Make More Money and Be More Valued." However, this unassuming title holds immense potential due to its broad appeal. Although originally written for engineers, the subject matter of salary negotiation is relevant to a wide audience. According to SEMrush, a popular SEO tool, the keyword "salary negotiation" has a global volume of around 15,000, along with numerous variations and related keywords. This title's high search volume underscores its potential for attracting a significant amount of organic traffic.

The Depth and Detail of the Content

While flashy visuals may catch the eye, what truly transforms content into a valuable resource is the depth and detail it offers. In the aforementioned blog post, the author, Patrick McKenzie, provides insights that many readers may not have even considered. For instance, he explores the concept of shifting one's mindset to embrace negotiation, dedicating three paragraphs to this often overlooked aspect. By delving into such nuances, the author establishes himself as an expert on the topic, creating substance-rich content that resonates with readers.

The Engaging Nature of the Content

In addition to substance, engagement plays a pivotal role in ranking content on Google. The search engine algorithm takes into account how much an article is read, analyzing the scrolling behavior of users. A lengthy article may appear daunting at first, but if it manages to captivate readers and hold their attention, it sends positive signals to Google. By using the example of the blog post, we can observe how engaging content can improve rankings. The author employs a conversational tone, complete with intriguing headings like "Multi-Dimensional Preference Set: Use It" and thought-provoking scenarios. This engagement not only keeps readers on the page but also contributes to higher search engine visibility.

Shareability as a Ranking Factor

Shareability is another significant factor that contributes to content ranking. Patrick McKenzie's blog post is highly shareable due to its quality and informative nature. It is easy to imagine that a portion of the readers, perhaps one in ten, would copy the link and share it with their family or friends. As a result, this creates additional backlinks and further amplifies the reach of the content. By generating more shares, high-quality content can attract more traffic, ultimately benefiting the website's overall ranking.

The Longevity of Valuable Content

The final reason why this particular blog post ranks exceptionally well is its timeless value. Despite being published over a decade ago, the topic of salary negotiation remains relevant today. It continues to resonate with people, driving continuous searches, readership, and shares. When creating content, it is essential to consider its longevity. Opting for evergreen topics that transcend passing trends ensures that the content will have enduring relevance and maintain its ranking on search engines.

In conclusion, while style may initially attract attention, it is substance that ultimately prevails when it comes to ranking content on Google. By focusing on captivating titles, depth and detail, engagement, shareability, and longevity, content creators can optimize their rankings and provide valuable resources for their audience. In an era of short-lived trends and ephemeral aesthetics, substance remains the key to standing the test of time in the digital landscape.

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