If there’s one thing that Google loves, it’s content. Done right, a content rich website is almost guaranteed to rank highly. But how to get that content? You can write it yourself, but that takes a lot of time. You can pay an SEO copywriter to write it for you, but that takes a lot of money. If only there was another option…

What if you could get your content for free? And not just a little bit of content; a lot! What if you could get an almost unlimited supply of keyword rich, expertly written content, specific to your subject matter, absolutely free of charge? Would you snap it up and upload to your site in an instant? Of course you would! Well here’s the good news: you can! Read on to find out how you can get a top ten ranking in the search engines without paying a single cent…

Yes, content gives you a great ranking

Content is king. This is widely acknowledged as fact, but if you need further convincing, consider the following two points:

Point 1 – In Google’s own words, one of the keys to a high ranking is to “create a useful, information-rich site” (from “Google Information for Webmasters” – http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html).

Point 2 – Google insider, codenamed ‘Google Guy’, advocates a list 26 steps to building a high ranking site. Step 5 of the list says, “build one page of content and put online per day at 200-500 words” (from Brett Tabke’s “26 steps to 15k a Day” – http://www.searchengineworld.com/misc/guide.htm, advocated by Google Guy in a WebMasterWorld QA session – http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum30/29727-6-10.htm).

But why does content give you a great ranking?

I won’t go into any further detail about IF Google loves content. I will, however, briefly explain WHY. Google’s love affair with content is based on two key attractions:

1) Google loves sites with a lot of content because it assumes they provide a lot of useful information. And remember, that’s the whole reason Google exists – to help people find useful information. The more helpful Google’s results, the more traffic (and revenue) it gets.

2) Google loves sites that have a lot of links pointing to them because this means other webmasters hold your site in high regard, and Google assumes this means the content is useful. And naturally, if you create a useful site, other webmasters will link to it because this makes them useful to their visitors (thereby developing site loyalty), and they gain credibility and authority because they’re associated with you.

So how can you get free content for your website?

Three words: ‘free reprint articles’. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there writing high quality, helpful, informative articles on virtually every topic imaginable, then giving these article away to any webmaster who wants to publish them on a website. In exchange for the article, the author asks only that you retain the author bio at the end, complete with all links (e.g. “Glenn Murray is an SEO Copywriter and Article Submission Specialist…).

To find free content for your website, simply visit any one of hundreds of ‘article banks’ on the Internet such as http://www.ezinearticles.com, http://www.goarticles.com, or http://www.articleblast.com. Browse or search for the subject you’re interested in, then take the article(s) for free. There is absolutely no charge. Some of these sites will even send a regular stream of articles direct to your website (using RSS).

Alternatively, you can sign up to any number of article distribution lists and get articles delivered direct to your email inbox. Again, it’s absolutely free! Some of the better known distribution lists include http://groups.yahoo.com/group/article_announce, http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Free-Content, and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Free-Reprint-Articles.

TIP: The article banks and distribution lists mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds more – just do a search for “free reprint articles”, “article submission”, “article submission site”, “submit article”, “article submit site”, “free articles”, or “free content”. You may even find a site or list which only deals in articles relating to your particular subject matter.

Why is it free?

Why are these authors giving their articles away? Because it helps the author’s own search engine ranking. As explained above, Google loves sites with lots of links pointing to them. Every time their article submission is published, the author gets another link to their website. In fact, if the article is really good, it may be published hundreds of times. And each time, it’s another link to the author’s website. Put simply, article submission is a writer’s free pass to the top of the search engines.

How do I know if the quality is good?

It’s a process of natural selection. The better the article submission, the more often it will be published, so it’s in the author’s interest to write and submit articles of the highest quality. Of course, this doesn’t always happen, but in most cases, you’ll be reviewing the articles before you post them anyway, so if you discover one that’s not up to scratch, don’t use it.

In time, you’ll become familiar with the authors who consistently put out good quality content – you may even find enough of them that you don’t need to go looking for content from anyone else…

Where do I put the free content?

Most people put the articles in an ‘Articles’ or ‘Resources’ section on their website, but you can put them anywhere you like.

How much free content should I use?

As much as you want or as little as you want. It all depends on your needs and the needs of your audience. If your audience expects that at least some of your site is original content, then give it to them.

But what about the duplicate content issue?

It’s not an issue!

There’s a lot of a talk about how Google penalizes duplicate content. The theory is that when the majority of the content on two separate webpages (on different sites) is the same, the one with the higher PR will be shown and the other one will not.

Whether or not this theory is true is still a hot topic in search engine circles, but regardless, it doesn’t affect people publishing free-reprint articles. When you publish the article, just make sure you have unique content around it. Generally, it’s enough to have your own unique introduction to the page (which may be common to all pages), and your own navigation elements, headers, footers, sidebars, logos, images, etc.

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