From Penguin 4.0 to the ‘Trough of Disillusionment’ — content marketing trends

Google Penguin 4.0 will reward great content instantly

Google’s latest algorithm update, Penguin, is set to make digital content production fairer. Penguin 4.0 doubles down on black hat SEO and gives rewards to high-quality articles as soon as the pagePenguin google update has been crawled and indexed.

Last week, the search leviathan released this new incarnation of Penguin; an eagerly awaited new algorithm that’s set to have a significant and positive effect for digital marketers.

Penguin 4.0 is already part of Google’s core algorithm, and allows real-time data on content value and SEO. The update also looks at sites on a more granular level now penalising individual pages rather than entire web domains. This will help marketers with good intentions who just need to spruce up their SEO by giving them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes without haemorrhaging organic traffic.

In fact, unlike the panic that followed past updates, webmasters are yet to see an immediate drop in referral traffic. But, for some small businesses, this change may have come too late.

It’ll take some time before we know the full implications of Penguin 4.0. However, some influential SEO industry figures have been quick to express their point of view:

“Being real-time helps to set expectations as you won’t have to wait weeks or months for the next algorithm refresh to assess your link removals… [SEO] is becoming harder to be manipulated at scale.” – Kevin Gibbons, Managing Director at Blue Glass

“I think the algorithm is fairer. Think about it, you will be awarded for great content, instantly.” – Gerald Murphy, Client Service Manager at BrightEdge

“Forget about shortcuts in SEO! There aren’t any. The only way to stay on the safe side and secure your brand, visitors and sales is if you do white hat SEO. Write well-researched and useful content and build quality links to it. That’s it!” – Nikolay Stoyanov, freelance SEO consultant at

Penguin 4.0 rewards authoritative articles that provide a service to the end user (and are free from spammy links). Now the future of digital content looks a little bit more lovable.

Content marketing has scaled the ‘Trough of Disillusionment’

Content marketing has climbed out of last year’s ‘Trough of Disillusionment’ and back onto the steep ‘Slope of Enlightenment’. At least, that’s according to Content Marketing Institute’s new content_marketing_slopeB2B Content Marketing 2017: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends’ report.


*Graph courtesy of Content Marketing Institute

This comprehensive consideration of all things content shows 62% of B2B marketers in North America think their content has been much more, or somewhat more successful than last year. In 2015, 70% of marketers rated the potency of their content at somewhere between ‘neutral’ and ‘not at all effective’.

This latest boost is the result of a number of factors coming together:


*Graph courtesy of Content Marketing Institute

The report also found that content marketing’s resurgence is intrinsically linked to marketing’s top performers. Among the most successful marketers today, 91% are ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ committed to content marketing. For the poor performers, just 35% of respondents claimed to have this level of commitment.

You can learn so much more about content marketing movements by delving into Content Marketing Institute’s latest benchmark report. But, from even a cursory glance, it seems clear that content marketing is making its final ascent towards the ‘Plateau of Productivity’.

Organic Google SEO traffic increases by 5%

SEO traffic from Google organic search has increased by 5% since 2015, according to Wolfgang Digital’s new ‘E-commerce Benchmarks 2016’ study.SEO-Web_traffic

The report showed just how vital this channel is for content marketers; it’s both the largest source of traffic (43%) and revenue (42%). Websites with a higher rate of organic traffic also tended to close deals with Average Order Values (AOVs) that were higher than those with a low rate of organic traffic.

This shows that content marketing methodology is far from just bluff and bluster. It clearly does exactly what it says on the tin. By providing accessible yet insightful information on specific products and services, content marketers not only make their copy more visible, but also persuade prospective buyers to trust them when committing to a high-value purchase.