Content is King – The Origins of the Principle
It is very true that prior to the arrival of the internet, content was still king. Take for instance, the millions of literary works that have been published over many hundreds of years. We recall the works of Shakespeare, Tolstoy and all very readily, for one simple reason, Content. However, when the internet arrived, a sudden spawn of web information arrived, some of which contained quality content, others, not so much. How did the ‘content is king‘ principle begin to impact the net?
The Role of Bill Gates
Bill Gates, one of the most iconic figures of the internet, had much to do with what Google now treasures so much, the content is king principle. Way back in 1996, Mr Gates released an essay entitled, appropriately enough…”Content is King”. In this essay, Gates really proposed a foundation that has now become a reality. Consider a quote:
“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.“
There is no doubt that Gates has, through Microsoft, and other intellectual contributions, contributed much to what is now known as the Web. And, whilst his direct involvement is now less prominent, his philosophies continue to impact every one today.
Content is King – Google Takes Up The Mantle
We live in an era where internet controls seem to be increasing quite visibly. Recently, for instance, ‘hate speech’ has become the focus of many of the main social media sites, leading to control, and censorship. This ‘hate speech’ is an example of what is considered poor content, and, therefore, has been restrained.
However, poor content is not limited to this one extreme example. Google releases regular algorithms that are designed to promote, or, demote, websites based on their content. Several sources are pointing to the impact on the ‘Your Money Your Life’ sector of the web. Many sites that contain doubtful, or unverified information on diet and nutrition, for example, have seen significant traffic decreases this month as Google devalues the information, or content, that they provide.
It is clear that the mantra ‘content is king’ is now more relevant than it has been at any time during the short existence of the net. Website Developers and Publishers who fail to heed this warning are likely to be left behind as the importance of content becomes more prominent.
Content is King – How To Adapt
The onus is now on web publishers to ensure that their content is indeed king. To do otherwise risks becoming irrelevant and invisible to the every increasing internet audience, who crave new ideas and information. These changes are likely to become more prominent over time, since the net is generally unregulated, and therefore must implement it’s own controls in order to be an asset and not a weapon. Yes, each year that passes will continue to show, as Bill Gates stated, that ‘Content is King’.