"…we're including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed."
– Google Webmaster Central Blog
"…quality…writing on sites… They don't write to fill up space on a page. They write to fill up your head."
– Jason Fried, Why Is Business Writing so Awful?, Inc., May 2010
"Is every word doing new work?"
– William Zinsser, On Writing Well
I have been asked often recently, "What's the silver bullet for social media?"
Social media has a silver bullet, all right. Here it is, the silver bullet that fells all enemies of business results from the use of social media:
Yep. The silver bullet of social media is exquisitely crafted, profoundly valuable content, from the poetry-like crafting of a 140-character Twitter tweet, to a thousand-word .pdf white paper.
The challenge of social media isn't knowing what the silver bullet is. It's firing it. The knowledge and skill required to create high quality content is akin to that required to load and fire a muzzleloader.
My copy of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare is a four-inch thick tome cheaply published sometime in the 1980s. It's heavy to lift, the works seem randomly organized in its 1000+ pages, and for me to read the tiny type face will soon require the painstaking use a magnifying glass.
The "download time" is so slow, its "site speed" so archaic, if the book were a site, its PageRank would undoubtedly be penalized by Google.
I don't read Shakespeare for his PageRank or in spite of its site speed. I read Shakespeare because the words – the content – brings me to tears.
The current top source of growing traffic to this site, Handshake 2.0, is Google. The top source of traffic used to be "direct," i.e. people who knew the site's URL typed it in or used a similar method to come to the site. After almost two years creating 1000+ posts, what people seek through Google, they now find often in the content on Handshake 2.0.
Why do I think Google lists our posts high enough in search results for users to find them on our site? Not because of our site's SEO, PageRank, or site speed.
I think it's because Google values a "a useful, information-rich site." We're not Shakespeare. But we aspire to useful, information-richness. That's content.
Welcome all comers who found this site through Google or any other means!
"Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts…"
– William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 3, Act 4, Scene 6
These Handshake 2.0 posts may be of interest: