Content, SEO and social media news: weekly round up

Google explains stance on guest blogging

Google’s head of webspam, Matt Cutts, has explained that the company views guest blogging as a twofold medium – and could be seen as positive or negative for SEO, depending on the circumstances. Speaking as part of an online video, in response to a question asked by a webmaster, Cutts commented that guest blogging was “a time-honoured tradition”, and when the articles are relevant, quality pieces it can be an excellent medium with which to build links and generate PR. However, he went on to explain that “Sometimes it gets taken to extremes … you’ll see people offering the same blog post multiple times or spinning the blog posts, offering them to multiple outlets.” Cutts condemns this approach: “If you’re just doing it as a way to turn the crank and get a massive number of links … we’re less likely to want to count those links.” It seems that, as with any kind of online content, guest blogging is only useful if it is high quality, relevant, and devoid of any black hat SEO techniques.

Social media laws challenge free speech principle

The on-going debate about freedom of speech online has taken a turn this week, as director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer has controversially stated that “the right to be offensive has to be protected.” His comment comes in light of two recent prosecutions for offensive social media posts – one involving a comment about a high profile murder case. A freedom of information request recently revealed that there were 2,490 investigations of complaints regarding inappropriate posts on social media in 2011, and the number is only expected to rise. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is now expected to invite lawyers, academics and representatives from the major social media platforms to take part in a discussion about the future of online content and the legislation surrounding offensive social media posts. Although the current offences are mostly being committed by individuals, appropriate behaviour on social media sites should certainly be a concern for businesses too, so it will be interesting to see how the case progresses over the next few months.

eConsultancy survey highlights content marketing metrics

eConsultancy’s new Content Marketing Survey Report, produced in collaboration with Outbrain, has shown the various methods that companies are using to measure the success of their content marketing campaigns. The most commonly used metrics were shown to be unique visitors, page views per visitor and page views in general, with 88%, 76% and 71% of companies using these measures respectively. The main challenge after the initial click was seen to be keeping the visitor on the site, with 76% stating that generating a second click for each visit was “very important.”

How do you measure the success of your content marketing campaign? Leave us a comment and let us know!