Why Google’s Penguin update makes content marketing king

How content marketing is crucial if you want to work with Google to make sure your website gets seen by your customers.

What’s the brand equivalent of dying a slow and agonising death, alone in the wilderness, deprived of food, water and the most fundamental survival needs? I’m not sure, and I sure as hell don’t want to find out. But I can tell you how you end up there: by relying on antiquated SEO techniques from a dying industry.

Google Penguin, a webspam algorithm designed to (you guessed it) prevent spam, was released in April this year. It’s the latest move in the war between Google and those sites that try to game its algorithm. No more trumping up rankings or breaching Google’s quality guidelines. If you mess with the Mountain View mafia, your rankings will be dropped. Fast.

Google updates its algorithms all the time and it can be hell trying to keep up. But it’s important for anyone who wants their business or brand to receive more attention to understand what the changes mean for them – and how they can spin it to their advantage.

Traditionally the SEO industry has been ruled by people wearing black hats (who use underhanded techniques to game the system) and white hats (who utilise a human-focused strategy, using keywords, back-linking and link building). I’m here to tell you about a third hat, a technicoloured dream hat that will not only improve your brand’s Google results, but its overall image as well.

It’s called content marketing. We’re smack bang in the middle of a (potentially seismic, as far as the SEO industry is concerned) cultural shift, from (sometimes dodgy) SEO practices to well-written, well-researched custom content and brand storytelling. And you need to be informed. My work as the head of strategy at Edge means I’m familiar with the content creation process. From its earliest stages to completion, I see the potential effective content marketing has to lift any brand’s status.

Jasmine Henry summed up the most relevant definitions on the Inbound Marketing Blog and you know what they say: if it ain’t broke…


Sure, there are a load of other tricky steps you can take to improve your standing with Google, but nothing beats ditching the tired black and white hats for something with a bit more style. Take a look at some of the success stories over at Edge.

In a perfect world your business would be #1 on Google and every other search engine out there, right? But of course the reality is slightly different. Paradigms are changing, and if you continue to rely solely on traditional Google SEO techniques like stuffing your content with keywords or fancy internal linking strategies, you’re going to be screwed.

Google is actively coming for your site, and you’ll find your ranking falling before you know it, which we all know can spell doom for any brand today.

Richard Parker is the head of digital at strategic content agency Edge, where he has experience working with leading brands including Woolworths, St George and Foxtel. He previously spent 12 years in the UK, first at Story Worldwide then as the co-owner and strategic director of marketing agency Better Things.



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