The Issue of Relevancy and When Push Comes to Shove

There was a time when a salient question for online content was “how unique are you?”

In a world where there was a multitude of things to talk about or write about, it seemed that websites just wanted to dwell on what was hip, popular, or trending, whatever everyone was talking about at the moment.

Then I guess someone thought “what the heck, there are a lot of other topics there, I’ll talk about something else.” So everyone did talk about everything else. Until it seemed like there was nothing more to talk about that people didn’t hear before.

This perceived “topic drought” actually prompted a mad dash for heretofore unknown topics for articles, while others tried “alternative” (read: sneaky) strategies to garner attention. In instances when everything else was tapped out, people resorted to the all-too-familiar content spinning technique, where existing content would be written or said in another way. All in the valiant effort to produce unique content.

Now it seems, there is a new question you should be asking regarding your content: “how relevant are you?”

Truth be told, it’s not really new. Any decent Internet marketer would know that everything they put into their efforts should be relevant in a big way to what they are marketing, or at least to the interests of their target market.

This is further underlined in this post by Scott Krager on the recent SMX in London:

In his opening keynote at SMX London, Amit Singhal, VP and Google Fellow, who rewrote the original Google algorithm upon his hire in 2000, said today that “Relevancy is King”. He added that Google looks at a combination of three signals (links, social, user actions) and how those signals support each other to build the organic result set.

While declining to “whiteboard the algorithm for you” Singhal did give hints of where Google is going and what they look for with the current algorithm.

Everything came back to “relevancy”. Google wants to always serve the user the most relevant result to the individual. And they will use whatever data sources they can to determine that.

Now, don’t get me wrong here, ok? This is all well and good, because now, sites will feature content that is absolutely relevant to interests, rather than just content intended to sneakily (or sometimes even blatantly) boost a site’s ranking.

My issue here is just how far will sites take the issue of relevancy? How soon will it be before some Internet marketers again decide to go overboard with their marketing efforts all centered on relevancy?

I’m sure those slapped down by the updates and algorithms all thought they were doing it just right when they went overboard with their SEO strategies. I wonder if this will also be the case here?

I can almost see it now, your everyday Joe starting to jack up SEO and Internet marketing efforts based on relevancy, all the while thinking: “alrighty then, everything is doing great, all my content is relevant, and I don’t expect any slap downs from Google or whatever”.

I’m all for relevancy. I try to push it every chance I get when I share whatever I know here in my blog. But I also know that many Internet marketers do have a habit of pushing it way beyond what is acceptable all in the name of competition. I’m hoping that dear old Internet marketer cuz knows when Internet marketing efforts on relevancy are just enough, like for content or video marketing stuff or whatever, and when it’s starting to become a reason for another update or algorithm.