The Relationship Between User-Generated Content And SEO
When it comes to SEO, we know that user engagement is a key component in the success of our SEO optimisation efforts. One of the best ways to bring about user engagement is through user-generated content (UGC). But how does UGC – which is content that you have limited control over – interact with your UK search engine optimisation efforts?
Things such as comments, reviews, forum posts and image sharing are all things we would consider to be UGC. However, the worry about UGC is, as we mentioned above, that it comes from outside sources. This can lead to content running the risk of being spam, of a poor quality, offensive or insensitive. Indeed, it may even be a chance for a customer or, worse, a competitor to make negative comments about your products and/ or services. Whether these comments are genuine or not, they can still serve as a ‘red flag’ to potential customers and visitors. As search engine experts know, this can lead to UGC requiring varying levels of moderation which, depending on the resources available to you, can be time consuming. But there are a lot of good sides to UGC – especially in relation to search engine optimisation. For instance, it’s a great way to generate new content on your website. While not always the case, we know now that Google’s algorithms actually prefer it if web pages have a lot of content. UGC can essentially help to make your pages achieve different search results to your other SEO efforts, as people can use unpredictable and unique terms to describe your website, products or services. It also mitigates the problem to some extent of generating fresh content on your website.
But the key to making UGC work is through moderation and reviewing of content. How much this affects your website really depends on the type of website you’re running, and how much UGC your visitors are able to create. There are a number of tools out there that can automatically detect spam or auto-moderate when certain words are used, but you’ll still need human eyes overseeing this process. Ignoring this process can be damaging, as Google’s own John Mueller has confirmed that the search engine doesn’t differentiate between UGC and content that you are publishing on your website. So, despite its benefits, UGC may actually be more hassle than it’s worth. One alternative to focusing on UGC could be to regularly update your website with blogs and news articles. This keeps your white hat search engine optimisation efforts fresh, as SEO is not just a ‘one and done’ deal – it’s something you need to keep working on. You’ll find UK search engine optimisation specialists offering affordable, ongoing packages to generate content for your website on a regular basis. With a controlled cost, little moderation required and a focus on relevant keywords, this arrangement can be more beneficial to many small to medium sized businesses.
You don’t have to pick between UGC or utilising the services of a UK search engine optimisation consultant either. If you have enough resources, you can even think about utilising both UGC and curated website optimisation. Whatever your choice, the most important message is to continually work on your SEO and keep it fresh.