All webmasters face the same issue – the need to regularly add quality content to their sites which is useful to their visitors and is appropriate to the theme of their pages.
It is believed (for good reason) that the search engine ranking algorithms favor web sites which are updated regularly over those which are not. Some webmasters resort to buying content – either custom written material, or paid feeds such as news feeds or magazine items. Others use software which converts things like Amazon or eBay product feeds into ‘content’ which appears to originate on their own site.
Most webmasters, however, are always on the lookout for high quality, human-created content which they can use, which search engine spiders will like, and which is completely free. This ideal sort of content is of course quite hard to find. A popular
One of the most effective ways of adding free, legitimate content to your site is to add a list of related sites, or sites for further reading or further information. Some webmasters are horrified by this idea, as it takes your visitor away from your site to someone else’s. They believe that the only links on a site should be to other sites on the site itself, or to sites which are paying you, such as AdSense, Clickbank or affiliate links (or other product links), or obligatory links to an article author’s site.
But this is taking a narrow view of what a useful web site should be. If you want your visitors to like your site, it must be actually useful to them – useful enough to bookmark and to visit again. This is the ‘free traffic’ which for most webmasters is the holy grail of web marketing. Related links pages, built into your own site, show your users that you are not simply pushing them for a sale, which has been proved to drive visitors to the ‘Back’ button.
Related site links, selected by a human editor and with a useful site description, are often more useful than search engine results, which is the reason web directories still exist and are still flourishing. On one of my sites, the resources page (a page of links to related sites) has a Pagerank of 5, the equivalent of the site’s home page, simply because it is a useful set of links and descriptions built up over many years, and which is extensively linked to.