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How an Owned, Paid, and Earned Content Strategy Can Power Your SEO
Christopher Baldock / Content Marketing Institute / March 26, 2014
In this post, we’ll focus on how the keyword strategies of the past have given way to a new type of strategy that can help your brand succeed in a semantic search world: an owned, paid, and earned content strategy.
Move over keyword strategy
Keyword strategies should be put to rest — at least, in the way they used to be utilized. The same thing can be said about trying to rank “on the first page.” Want to know the reason for this? Look no further than your own Google search results.
After searching for a topic, take a look at the first page. You’ll see snippets from industry experts you may know, and possibly a couple of social posts that relate to you (if you’ve discussed the search topic in any of your published content). But, what will your friend see when he searches the same thing down the street, on the other side of town, two states over, or even from a different country? One way to gauge that difference would be to select the “hide private results” globe on the top right of the Google search page. Now what do you see? Most likely different results, in a different order.
What this boils down to is that there isn’t a standard first page for everyone anymore, and the keyword strategy of the past bears the brunt of impact from this change. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a keyword strategy in place. It can help with your content strategy and content creation. Tools like Google Webmaster Tools or Majestic SEO can help track your average search position for related keywords from your site. This information is how you can come to understand where you “rank” within Google — and it’s where your greatest opportunity lies for capitalizing on certain keywords/keyword phrases. But it’s how you gauge success of your keyword strategy that has to change.
An owned, paid, and earned strategy
If keyword strategy has taken a step back in importance for ranking, what has taken its place? An owned, paid, and earned content strategy. This type of strategy has become a main focus for those trying to increase their rankings — primarily due to Google’s frequent algorithm updates.
To understand what’s involved in an owned, paid, and earned strategy, it is important to understand semantic search. Semantic search is how search engines discern context and user intent to return more definitive answers, rather than the hierarchical list of guesses Google presented previously. Simply, semantic search helps Google present better results for any given search.