Article writing is the single most effective tactic for driving traffic to any website. Unfortunately, there are too many webmasters out there that place a greater importance on quantity than on quality. For every webmaster out there that focuses on writing quality content, there are at least a few who simply do keyword research and pump out as much content as possible to hit those keywords.

In the earlier days of Google, this was an effective strategy. However, things have changed and it is now more effective to spend time writing a few quality articles than it is to build a content farm out of mediocre articles. Low quality articles litter the internet, frustrate visitors and make the lives of legitimate website owners that much more difficult.

High quality articles are not written with the sole intention of hitting keywords. High quality articles are written with the reader in mind first. The best articles are those that are unique, well-written and backed by research. Visitors to your website can tell instantly whether or not the content is worth spending the time to read.

Here are four reasons why quality trumps quantity in the realm of article writing:

Quality Articles Provide Value to the Reader

By “value,” I’m referring to articles that readers find useful, interesting, entertaining or though-provoking. These articles reward website visitors for spending the time to read what you’ve written. This generates good will among your visitors and encourages repeat website visits. Every visitor that bookmarks your website is one less visitor that you have to earn through Google.

High quality articles also generate more natural links to your website. When people stumble upon well-written content, they are more likely to share that content with other people. This generates links on social media sites such as Facebook and on third party websites. Those links bring more direct traffic and help your site rank higher in search engines.

Let’s look at an example:

A 500 word article on the topic of wireless internet is way too short to fully explore such a wide-open subject. There’s nothing inherently wrong with short articles, but a 500 word article on “wireless internet” is highly unlikely to provide any real value to the reader. A better approach would be to drill down to a more specific topic and then thoroughly cover that topic.

Quality Articles Generate Trust

If you consistently provide your readers with useful information, your readers will come to trust you. Not only does this trust earn repeat visitors and more backlinks, but it also makes your readers more likely to listen to your recommendations. People who trust you are more likely to buy your products and click on your affiliate links.

But remember: trust is not earned in a day. Trust is earned over time by posting high quality articles again and again. No matter how many articles you publish every day, it takes time to develop a relationship with your visitors. That is why it is so important for you to always write high quality articles, even if it means a slower rate of production.

Quality Articles Last Longer

High quality articles last longer because they remain useful to your readers. A thorough “how-to” guide of some sort can last for years if the subject remains relevant. Once again, these articles encourage repeat visits to your website.

As an added bonus, high quality articles stick around longer in search engine results. When people share high quality articles over a long course of time, those articles slowly generate new links and maintain high rankings in search engines. Low quality articles eventually fall off the top page of Google and collect dust in the vast archives of the internet.

Google No Longer Rewards Content Farms

Google has actively stepped up its efforts to weed out obvious content farms from its search engine results. The recent Panda update was designed specifically for this reason. Google has always stated that its goal is to provide the most relevant and high quality search results possible for its users. Websites that simply pump out low quality content all day long do not provide searchers with the information they want.

The Panda update goes to show how important quality content is. Hate ‘em or love ‘em, you have to admit Google has a good handle on what kind of search results people like to see. If Google places greater importance on quality than on quantity, you can bet the people that use Google do as well. Besides, common sense tells us that people would rather find a few snippets useful information than a truck load of filler text.

by James Wilson