Excellent Content Accuracy Needed For Google’s New Ranking Factor

April 5, 2015 3:22 pm

What makes you click more? “The Worst Ways You Can Fail at
Marketing,” or “10 Of the Best Marketing Practices You Should Be Using
Today”.
Ah, the psychology behind good web content.
Basically, content can be either positively or negatively aligned, and each of these has their own impacts on the audience.
You can think about it from the perspective of someone who deals with
motivating people. Such a person knows that when you’re trying to get
your listeners to take themselves seriously, you can either provoke them
into action or encourage them to do something positive.
With your content production, your content can either drive your
reader to action or give them an element of fear in order to do what you
tell them to do.

You know that you need to write excellent, engaging content to help
bring in more clients and clicks, but did you know that accurate content
is just as important, if not more so?
It is incredibly vital to your site, and can help set you up as a
great, trustworthy source within your industry. It is also going to be
part of a new algorithm, and you need to make sure you are
already creating accurate content before it hits. I am going to look at
why you need it, as well as how you can achieve excellent, accurate
content.
Why is it Important to be Accurate in Your Content?
When you write your content, you always want to make sure you write
something that is accurate to help set your company up as a trusted
source. Accurate content is a great way to create something that
reflects your company in a great light while also helping you create
engaging content. However, there is something new coming down from
Google, which means that accurate content won’t just be something you
want to create for your clients when it comes to engagement; you’ll want
to be trustworthy for Google, as well.
It hasn’t happened yet, but it is being reported that Google is aiming to create an algorithm
to judge the trustworthiness of a website by how accurate the content
is. Their goal is to match content to others around the web to see if
the subject is truthful. You should always create accurate content no
matter what, but if you do think about fudging the details every now and
then, this should stop you in your tracks. You want to start or
continue creating accurate content to be well ahead of the Google game
before the new algorithm is implemented.
Top Nine Ways to Make Sure Your Content is Accurate
Since you now know why it is important to create accurate content, I
am going to take a look at a few ways you can achieve this. These tips
are great to help you start creating accurate content or they can help
you rest assured that your content is definitely truthful. Let’s take a
look at these tips to see which ones can benefit you and your site.
1. Always Verify Your Research. Verifying research
is something that can take quite a bit of time, but is well worth it in
the end. This helps you make sure you are reporting on
something that is factual, instead of something that sounds right, but
didn’t happen. You can see this regularly in the media when reporters
will discuss something they overheard and it later turns out to be
false, putting the reporter and source in the Spotlight of Shame.
While major news sources can easily get out of it through various
methods, a small business will have a harder time, and you might have a
permanent mark of being untrustworthy, which is something you don’t
want. A great way to verify is to find out if the source you are using
is reputable, and to follow their research links to see if their
resources are high quality and reputable, as well. Just take time, and
cross-reference everything to help you verify your research.
2. Make Sure to Confirm the Claims You’ve Read or Heard Before Writing. Did
you hear a claim about something in your industry? Does it sound
likely, but you don’t have any research to back it up yet? Then you need
to make sure you confirm before writing and publishing it. The best way
to do this is to follow step one and verify your claim and
cross-reference it with other research. Make sure you not only confirm
it for your blog and web content, but that you don’t send it out on your
social media profiles either! Just be patient, research, and then state
what you’ve learned if there is enough to back it up. 
3. Back Up Your Claims With Legitimate Resources. Earlier,
I mentioned that, along with confirming your claims, you need to make
sure you back them up with legitimate resources. This will help set your
site up as trustworthy, and those legitimate resources are what Google
will look at to compare your statements to deem if they are factual or
not. Some examples of legitimate resources are Moz, Huffington Post,
Hubspot, and Buffer. It is also a good idea to look at the domain
authority of a website to know if it is high quality or not. I love
suggesting the MozBar because it really does help me find great resources to share with you!
4. Write Naturally, Avoiding Sales-Speech. Writing
naturally is another great way to create accurate content. How is it
great? Because, when you write on a topic you truly know about, with
excellent resources to back you up, you start to write your content
naturally. If you don’t know much about a topic, it comes out stilted
and forced, and it can even come out sounding sales-like. I’ve read a
few blogs where people try to write on a specific topic, but in the end
it just comes out sounding way too sales-dominated with little to no
information on the topic. Write naturally, and you will not only create
accurate content but you will also help bump your site up on the SERPs.
5. Have Someone Read Over Your Content. Another set of eyes never hurt anyone when it comes to writing
accurate content. First of all, another reader can spot simple errors
you may have missed. Second, if you have an expert in your field read
over the material, he or she will be able to tell you if they think you
need more resources or if your claim isn’t valid. Be prepared to take
the criticism you need to know if your content is accurate or not. A
great way to have someone look over your content for basic errors as
well as to check for accuracy is to hire a copyeditor to go over you work.
6. If You State an Opinion, Make Sure Your Readers Know. Opinion
pieces are a great form of content, but these can sometimes come across
as being inaccurate because they might not fit with research. When you
are writing an opinion piece, make sure you first state
what it is you are writing about, any research involved with it, and
then make sure your audience knows you are now writing your opinion. A
basic example is writing a book review – you want people to know what
the book is about, so you give them a brief overview. Once that is
complete, you want to tell them what you think. If you thought the book
was boring and way too easy to read, others might not agree, and it
isn’t a fact, just your opinion. Make sure you always state “in my
opinion” to help clear the air so people know you aren’t about to say
something they might deem as factual. 
7. Learn How to Search Google Well to Find Excellent Resources. Regardless
of all of their changes, I do still love Google, and I am sure you do,
too. We love Google because we can work to get our sites noticed, and it
really helps small businesses succeed in the Internet-age. Google is
also an excellent resource for you to mine for information and you might
not realize just how much you are missing. Take the chance to use
Google and learn how to search well for amazing resources. How can you
learn to become an expert Google searcher? Well, Hubspot wants to help
and they offered an excellent guide; take a look!
8. Hire Industry Copywriters to Create Accurate Content. One
of the best ways to ensure your content is completely accurate is to
hire an industry copywriter. Industry copywriters can focus on niche
markets, and they are skilled in researching and verifying said
research. You can also find industry copywriters that know your specific
industry that can provide excellent, accurate content
for your site, setting you up as a trusted source within your industry.
This also helps you get excellent content that is written well and
flows naturally, which is definitely something you will want with your
content.
9. Get a Content Audit. Writing new, accurate
content can be easy, but what about your existing content? Is it
accurate? Did you back up your claims and verify your research? A great
way to start making sure your old content is accurate and to make any
changes is to hire a content auditor
to look it over and find what needs to be changed. This will be great
because it will not only help check the accuracy of your content, but
will help give you more tips and ideas on how to tweak your content and
make any changes to improve your ranking on the SERPs. 
Start Creating Excellent, Accurate Content!
Now that you know a few ways to write accurate content, you need to
start writing! You can also go through your existing content to ensure
it is accurate with research backing up claims throughout the pieces.
If you find that you are having a hard time creating excellent, accurate content, then you should consider hiring an industry or niche
copywriter. Industry writers can match your exact business need (for
example, real estate writers, a strong technical writer) and write
terminology that’s friendly to your readers.
Basically, content can be either positively or negatively aligned, and each of these has their own impacts on the audience.
You can think about it from the perspective of someone who deals with
motivating people. Such a person knows that when you’re trying to get
your listeners to take themselves seriously, you can either provoke them
into action or encourage them to do something positive.
With your content production, your content can either drive your
reader to action or give them an element of fear in order to do what you
tell them to do.
The Science of Motivation
The psychological model of positive reinforcement is one that is well
known and has been a major part of developing a curriculum for schools.
If you’ve ever heard of the carrot-and-the-stick analogy,
then that pretty much sums it up. Basically, what positive
reinforcement does is motivate the user by dangling something they want
just out of reach so that they will strive to achieve it. It can be
quite useful with the correct approach, but doesn’t work well for
everyone.
Another psychological model that is associated with negative
reinforcement can be illustrated with the analogy of a cattle prod and a
cow. The motivating factor is fear of what will happen if something is
not done or completed. In many places, parents have adopted this type of
model for raising their kids. Again, it does appeal to a certain
section of the populous but not to everyone.
We as humans know that the best way to get someone to do something is
to offer something in exchange. That’s the premise behind going to
work. You spend time in work, doing tasks for your employer and they
repay you monetarily. The brain usually works on a task-reward system.
A good example of this in action is the video game development
industry. In video games, the user is treated to short-term rewards that
keep them coming back for more. They are motivated to continue the game
by these short-term rewards.
The brain is wired in a way that makes reward the reason for doing
something. However, we can bypass the learned behavior and traditional
motivation by forcing an individual to do something because of the
threat or promise of losing something that they hold dear. In a lot of
fiction writing, this is the case for the hero’s journey. Emotion is
intricately tied with motivation and by tapping into it we are able to
access controls that allow us to motivate our audience effectively,
either through positive or negative means.
The Art of Making the Audience Like You
Generally speaking, positive content gets results. People are more
likely to be inclined to listen to someone if they like them. Positive
reinforcement has always been a major part of teaching kids what works
best for them. Adults, too, tend to benefit a lot more from positive
reinforcement because it removes blocks to critical thinking and
learning and deals more with accessing the audience’s positive emotions.
Positive emotions can be a very powerful driver for certain people. One
of the most successful school systems in the world (that of Finland)
demonstrates the benefits of positive reinforcement in motivating
children. Adults aren’t really that different.
Positive content is usually built around the idea of making people
like you and what you’re saying. You’re not being offensive and you’re
not provoking outrage. You’re appealing to their higher instincts.
You’re trying to reason with them and have them consider the logical
solution to their problem and then providing them with a viable option.
Emotional response also forms part of the positive content marketing
scheme, usually dealing with positive feelings such as accomplishment
and triumph. All these are tactics that well-written content deals with
admirably. However, there is the other side of the coin.
Is Negative Content Ever Good?
Despite the fact that it’s called “negative content” it can have quite a positive effect on your readers. A simple example is my post
titled “The Worst Advice I’ve ever heard on Content Marketing.” This
particular piece of content managed to garner over six thousand views,
traction on social media, replies and messages. That says something
about the power of negative content.
Using negatively aligned words such as “Worst”, “Awful” or even
“Tragic,” brings to the forefront dirty laundry of one type or another.
It’s usually never something that you’d expect to hear from someone
who’s setting out to motivate you.
Negative content deals with bypassing the area of higher thought that
positive content targets and instead focuses more on the emotional
responses that certain types of content engender. It accesses emotions
as a means of directing the audience to do something and deals solely
with emotions such as fear and shame. These emotions are baser than the
ones positive content evokes and they can be quite intense, sometimes
driving a user to do something that his or her regular personality would
never even consider. Negative content can be even better than positive
content under the right circumstances.
Developing Content around Positive and Negative Emotions
We already saw how positive and negative content taps into a reader’s
emotions in order to garner a response from them. Which one is more
effective? If you’re looking at creating content that is viral,
then your best bet is positive content. To that end you’re going to
need to build content around the carrot-and-stick analogy. Give the user
what you think they would feel good about. Good examples of this kind
of content are Human Interest Stories or times when the underdog
actually won. This type of content usually goes viral because of the
propensity of the human animal to enjoy demonstrating their compassion.
Understanding how your audience perceives the world is crucial to
figuring out how you can best motivate them.
Does Positive Content’s Ability to Create Audience Interaction Make it Better than Negative Content?
Although you can say this, it’s not strictly true. Because of the way
positive content is designed to play on the positive and desirable
feelings that human beings have, it gets more of an elicited response.
Negative content partially relies on the fact that it isn’t used much.
The shock value that a negative content headline can have on a reader
can be quite impressive. Combined with deeply evocative feelings that
can drive a user to do something, negative content can be as effective
(or even more effective) than positive content.
What Sort of Emotions does Positive Content Evoke?
Although there are quite a gamut of emotions that positive content is responsible for causing in readers, the most common ones are:

  • Amusement
  • Surprise
  • Interest
  • Pleasure
  • Happiness
  • Delight
  • Affection
  • Joy
  • Hope
  • Excitement

As you can clearly see, these emotions are very powerful ones that
positive content can tap into. The power behind positive content is in
its ability to make people feel good by sharing. You can benefit from
this by using these powerful positive emotions to drive users to get
your content out there. The key behind this is selecting the right
emotions to tap into. Of the above emotions (the ones that drive viral
content) it can be quite easy to see how a positive spin on content
production can create interest and inspire shares and readers.
Negative content, too, can tap into these emotions, but in a slightly
roundabout way. Take, for example, the emotion of surprise. If there
was something negative that shocked and surprised an audience, it would
work as a great point from which to build negative content. The content
may be negative, but the element of surprise is positive. Although the
rest of the top ten list doesn’t generate as much interest from a
negative content standpoint it underscores the fact that negative
content is most effective in small doses.
Which One Should You Use?
In the long run, your content production should focus on trying to inspire the user
in any way possible. Whether this is by giving them goals to aim at or
showing them the worst that could happen to drive their passion, both of
these content strategies have their niche appeal groups. Negative
content should be used far less than positive content. Its power lies in
its unpredictability. If you bring out a negative post in every fifteen
to twenty total posts, then you catch your audience by surprise and are
more likely to get a response out of them. However, nobody likes
listening to naysayers of doom, and by consistently creating negative
content, people will avoid you because of your focus on the negative.
Keeping your overall content production positive and focused on
emotions such as inspiration and awe will get you much further as far as
shares and audience interaction. People have always loved feel-good
stories. It’s about time you capitalized on that.

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