Many times you hear the term ‘you need to have original content’ if you want good rankings in Google but what does original content really means and why is it so important?
What is considered original content?
In the exact sense of the term, original content is something that was never said before i.e. content that was never published online. In reality though finding content that is considered original is very rare (at least for the average blogger or publisher) so what happens in the majority of the cases is publishing a different view or opinion for something that is already published.
What is important if you are republishing content is to make sure that your content is unique. By unique we mean that is does not exist in exactly the same form anywhere on the web. One of the best ways to check your content’s uniqueness is to use tools like copyscape.com that scan the web and find similarities in content. So, if your content passes copyscape with a score of 100% you at least know that it is not published in any other website online.
Why original content matters?
Many people that are new to blogging or SEO do not understand about the importance of content uniqueness so what I will do below is try to summarize why the fuzz about content originality.
#1 – You need high quality content to rank in Google: High quality content has many characteristics and one them is original content. When Google is crawling a page and detects that the content of the page is already available in their index then most probably they will simply ignore it. If this happens for a lot of pages of the same website then it will gradually harm the performance of that website is Google Search.
Does this mean that you cannot publish on your website content that was published on other sites? If you really need to do that then you can ‘no-index’ the page so that Google will not take it into account at all.
#2 – You need good content to do well in social media marketing: Besides Google if you want to succeed in social media marketing and encourage users to engage with your content then you need something which is at least unique (original of course is always better).
#3 – It’s the basis of any successful content marketing campaign: Content marketing is of course about content and if you don’t provide for content that is of high quality, then most likely your content marketing campaign will fail creating a negative impact on your SEO and social media marketing.
How do you create original content?
The critical question now is how you create original content especially when as mentioned above the opportunities of publishing something completely new are minimized. Some tips to help you start thinking in the right direction.
Say the story from a different point of view – Whether you are writing a news article or a technical review, try to approach it from a different perspective as this will give you new ideas and enough room to create at least unique content.
Add your own opinion – Let’s say you are writing a review for a phone or laptop, one of the ways to differentiate your review from the rest of the online reviews is to state your own opinion and experience about the particular product. Of course in order to be able to do that you need to use the product first and that’s another factor that will make your review better and more ‘original’ than the rest.
Don’t just re-write content but make it better – I know that there are cases where you end up re-writing content because you cannot easily add a different perspective or your own opinion. The problem with re-writing is that Google with the Panda and Penguin updates have become better in recognizing original content so even if you don’t intend it, you may end up with a penalty because of poor quality content.
What you can do to avoid this is to add something new to the re-write (maybe add more details for one of the points made in the article) so as to add more value to the content as a whole.
Is text the only form of content?
As a final word, it should be noted that while content has many forms: text, images, video, audio or a combination of these, only text can be checked for uniqueness and originality. In fact Google does not check for the originality of images (although they have the ability to do so).