Interesting discussion going on here and here about SEM, link farms and the value of quality content. I’m an old-school news guy, so I’ve always argued for top-shelf editorial as a difference-maker for publishing companies. But in a market fueled by page views and unique visitors, it’s tougher to make that case these days. The “content lite” strategies of SEM “seagulls” (as David Churbuck cleverly calls them) is a chilling reminder of the devaluation of original, quality editorial.
I still believe content is king, but I also understand that it’s not enough to pay the bills in the digital world. For many media companies, the pendulum has swung fully on the side of driving online traffic (and revenues) through SEO and SEM – quality be damned – but I’m convinved that long term, there has to be a better balance between relevance and quality. The lesson applies not just to media companies; any marketer must understand that without good content, the message won’t stick.