December 18, 2019

Why Google Wants You to Differentiate Your Website Even If You Have Commodity Content

In the internet’s endless expanses of marketing competition, having a website with content that stands out from the rest is a true accomplishment.

The number of publishers pulling information from tantamount sources is ever-growing. This ultimately presents troublesome obstacles when it comes to differentiating your website from the masses.

Google, as well as other search engines, look for websites that implement innovative methods of producing content that stands out when presented to other people.

But let’s face it, the internet is chock-full of recycled information. Learning how to break the cycle with unique content is essential when integrating commodity content into your website.

What is Commodity Content, You Ask?

Commodity content refers to any content that is accessible from multiple sources. This can be anything from content vendors to the government or commercial repositories.

With the overwhelming amount of commodity content that is required for use in certain subject matters, it’s becoming quite a challenge for website owners to stand out.

There are many elements that come into play when addressing website differentiation.

How Do Websites Differentiate?

The definition of differentiation is “the act or process of differentiating,” or “development from the one to the many, the simple to the complex, or the homogeneous to the heterogeneous”(Merriam-Webster Online. Educational World).

In simpler terms, differentiation is being different.

But, when addressing commodity content differentiation, it’s about more than just being different.

In order to avoid blending in with the world-wide web’s extensive tract of indistinguishable commodity content, you must truly think outside the box.

Set your website apart from the norm by avoiding clichés and focusing on which elements you can integrate into your site to boost its popularity.

Let’s address the dos and don’ts of differentiating your website, even if you have commodity content.

Differentiating Commodity Content DON’Ts

1. Don’t Fall into Content Traps

Oftentimes, writers fall victim to content traps. This means the content they are pulling from can’t be altered because it depicts information that persists from person to person.

For instance, government information is difficult to differentiate because you’re limited in the number of modifications you can make to the information’s general format.

2. Don’t Produce Content Just to Produce Content

It’s a common misconception that producing lots of content will help your site’s overall SEO ranking. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Google elevates valuable, original content over thin, fluff-filled content. Therefore, differentiating your content with useful information that your visitors can trust is essential to establishing a legitimate SEO ranking.

Differentiating Commodity Content DOs

1. Create Comparison Reports of Your Competitors

Every publisher should create a comparison report before commencing with the further development of their site.

It doesn’t even need to be that complex. Configuring a basic list of your competitors’ pros and cons is plenty sufficient.

Prompt for answers to questions like:

  • Are my competitors authoritative?
  • What is making my competitors authoritative?
  • What are my competitors succeeding at?
  • What are my competitors failing at?
  • Who are my competitors targeting?

2. Understand & Answer Your Customers’ Pain Points

In addition to links and keywords, Google ranks websites based on content relativity and effectiveness. Essentially, Google is focusing on users rather than keywords.

Consider asking yourself these questions:

  • Is your content helping to resolve user problems?
  • Is it providing answers to user questions?
  • Are you giving users what they want?

Centering your content around users will help significantly in differentiating your website from the masses.

Key Takeaways

Effectively differentiating your website, even if you have commodity content, is not as intimidating as it seems.

Developing a basic understanding of commodity content fundamentals can ultimately ensure that your site outshines your competitors.

Remember these key takeaways:

1. Understand the fundamentals of commodity content

2. Understand how to differentiate commodity content on your website

3. Avoid content traps

4. Produce valuable, original content

5. Analyze your competitors’ positive and negative qualities

6. Center your content around users


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