Build a Content Network

Build Your Own Content Network

I tell you that “content is king” in Internet marketing. So now you have a site that’s rich in content. The pages have been carefully written around keyword density and the meta tags have been tuned by an expert. You’ve added a lot of new content to your site, and you continue to add and freshen content on a regular basis. As Judy Collins might say, “Is that all there is?”

There’s more! Since Google assesses the authoritativeness of your site based on incoming links from other sites, and their own authoritativeness, you can build a network of sites containing relevant content and set them up to link to your main site. Now, completely under your control, you have highly relevant sites linking to your site! This Newsletter tells you how to do it.

Network Map

This diagram shows a typical content network of eight sites supporting a main site. The “main site” is what you use now for your business. The other sites are constructed to support it; of course, they are each attractively designed sites that are coherent to read on their own. Most important, every one of these sites has original content–there’s no duplication. If there’s duplication, then Google has to decide which site to show to their users, and the other isn’t taken seriously.

Content Network Diagram

The supporting sites link to one another in an irregular pattern, providing a natural appearance. They all link to the main site, since the purpose of the content network is to give added authority to the main site. The supporting sites also link to one another in many cases. Many of these links can be embedded within text and be presented in a very natural way.

It’s appropriate to include a page of reciprocal links on each of these sites, and to conduct a linking campaign to seek reciprocal links with independent sites. That campaign can increase the authority of the supporting sites, further helping the authority of the main site.

Step by Step

Here’s a stepwise guide on how to build a content network. First, you should cover all the basics of getting your site well-positioned for good search engine ranking as laid out on my site. Step one of that method also provides the ingredients that you need for step one of this approach.
1. Understand the query terms that real searchers on the Internet are using to search for information in your discipline. This should be based on collections of real queries that are available, rather than on your own suppositions, because you may be subject to the “inside-outside” problem.
2. Group these terms into topics, and write collections of essays around these topics. Have the essays edited by Web content specialists for properties such as keyword density so that they can be Web pages that will help in marketing. Be careful to avoid duplicate content in your collections of essays.
3. Build Web sites with the collections of essays, each site dealing with a topic. Link these sites together using links within the text to form a content network like the one diagrammed above. The good news is that these sites don’t have to be elaborate designs and can be constructed using tools that simplify site construction. You don’t need professional design for these sites.
4. Conduct a reciprocal linking campaign for each of the sites in the content network, to improve its authoritativeness, that will further help the authoritativeness of the main site.
5. Keep the content of all the sites fresh by adding new content from time to time.

The Bottom Line

A content network can improve your search engine results. Be aware that it’s a significant effort and it’s very important to avoid shortcuts such as duplicate content or it can easily be of no benefit or even negative benefit.