What Is the Meaning of “Content Is King”?

What Is the Meaning of “Content Is King”?

As someone who is into content writing, you probably often hear the saying “content is king.”

As you will learn later in the article, the saying itself originally had nothing to do with writing, but rather with technological developments and business.

So, what is the meaning of “content is king”?

The saying “content is king” simply states that unique, high-quality, interesting content is crucial for conducting successful business on the internet.

Having quality content is without a doubt important to any business, and the meaning behind the saying offers an explanation as to why.

Despite the fact that the phrase isn’t new, it’s been brought to life and redefined in the age of digital marketing; as content marketing strategies become increasingly prominent, the quote is frequently used.

In this article I’ll be answering your questions on this quote and its meaning; who coined the term, what is the meaning of it, why and how is it important for SEO, what’s meant by content marketing, and where to get the very best content for your website.

Who Coined The Term “Content Is King”?

It’s generally unknown who coined the term, as traces of it can be traced as far back as 1912, and even further back. It has been used by a historian named A. Wyatt Tilby describing the British Colonies in America – however, that phrase carried a completely different meaning with itself, much different from the one we know today.

Believe it or not, it was actually one of the greatest, richest, most brilliant, and most famous businessmen, technological giants, and developers who developed this term in its modern meaning and popularized it. Bill Gates!

Yes, you read that right, the great Bill Gates is the one who came up with the term “content is king”, accurately predicting the future of the internet and conducting business online.

In January 1996, Gates wrote an essay titled “Content Is King”, and it was subsequently published on Microsoft’s website.

In it, Gates said “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.” – accurately predicting the way today’s business is conducted.

In the essay he described the importance of content, stating that content creators are as important as the product itself – meaning that advertising and marketing would become massively important and would have way too much influence over consumers to be ignored.

“For the Internet to thrive, content providers must be paid for their work. The long-term prospects are good, but I expect a lot of disappointment in the short-term as content companies struggle to make money through advertising or subscriptions. It isn’t working yet, and it may not for some time.”

It would take just a few years for the internet to prove that Bill Gates was right, as most businesses would quickly start conducting most of their business online.

Something that Bill Gates definitely wasn’t able to predict was the global coronavirus pandemic that completely staggered the world in 2020.

All economies have suffered massively, and in order to minimize physical human contact – almost all businesses transferred their business online, even the businesses that normally wouldn’t do that.

This emphasized the meaning of the phrase even more, as content has literally never been as important as it is now.

What Is The Meaning Of “Content Is King”?

The meaning of the phrase is simple: better content gets more attention, and in return leads to more revenue for the business behind the content.

The phrase is directly talking about content marketing, a term that didn’t actually exist in the 90s, and if it did – the meaning of it wasn’t as clearly defined as it is today.

This phrase is very often used in direct connection to SEO and content marketing, stating that only the highest-quality content can contribute to the making of a company of the highest quality.

It insists that no matter how good a business may be at conducting it, without good content they’re barely accountable. The internet has become a marketplace for content and should be thought of as such.

A website’s success depends on the quality of content offered on the website. If a website wants popularity and success, it should always optimize its content for search engines and the demands of users.

Back in 1996 when Gates wrote his essay, people were starting to publish information on the internet, information that once used to be available only in print.

He then successfully predicted that content providers were going to need to be compensated for producing all that information.

Bill Gates predicted that monetizing a website would lead to big profits for content producers because the revenue of a website will massively depend on the content.

In that context “content is king” came completely true.

The saying later came to be of importance in the SEO industry. In the early to mid-2000s, ranking well on search engines was relatively easy.

A simple on-page optimization for keywords would ensure your website ending on page one.

Then, in order to improve the accuracy of their searches, Google started complicating their searches, adding more filters and conditions a site needed to fulfill in order to appear among the first results.

Nobody knows the real number, but Google probably uses over 200 factors to rank websites in searches.

One of the factors that holds a lot of weight is content. It needs to be meaningful, in-depth, frequent, and all in all good in order for you to win the ranking battle with the search engines.

It’s become the primary instinct of every consumer to check the content of a product online before doing anything else.

Most buyers will look a computer up on the brand’s official website, before driving down to the store.

Quality content in the form of descriptions and discussions is what’s going to ensure that those results are the first that pop up when a term is searched.

What Is Meant by Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online.

It had started developing in the early 2000s (many refer to 2001), and its importance has only grown for the past 10 years, becoming massively important in 2011 and keeping that tradition (and growing on it) today.

The job of a content marketer is to attract attention and generate leads, expand their customer base, generate or increase online sales, increase brand awareness or credibility, engage an online community of users.

The vast majority of marketers are using content marketing. In fact, it is used by many prominent organizations in the world, including P&G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and John Deere.

Many small businesses use it as well, as its effectiveness was found to be greater than traditional marketing.

Quality content is part of all forms of marketing.

Social media marketing – content marketing strategy comes before your social media strategy.

SEO (something we’ll discuss later extensively) – search engines push businesses that actively publish quality content.

PR – successful PR strategies address issues that the readers (possible consumers) care about (instead of addressing their own business), and carefully incorporate them into their business, possibly profiting off of it.

PPC – great content is a must for PPC to work.

Inbound marketing – content is key to driving leads and inbound traffic

Content strategy – this is part of the most successful content marketing strategies

This quote from Wikipedia perfectly describes what content marketing is all about “Content marketing attracts prospects and transforms prospects into customers by creating and sharing valuable free content.

Content marketing helps companies create sustainable brand loyalty, provides valuable information to consumers, and creates a willingness to purchase products from the company in the future.

This relatively new form of marketing does not involve direct sales. Instead, it builds trust and rapport with the audience.”

To explain this bluntly – people aren’t as gullible as we might have been before.

The information has become a freely accessible asset and it’s easy for any consumer to go through a background check on a company and the quality of its products.

On top of that, something that’s fondly thought of nowadays is loyalty and closeness.

Customers will return to a known business if they feel welcome there, as opposed to having to put up with being invasively shoved a ton of information down their throats in barbarically pathetic attempts to make them buy something they don’t want – something that telemarketers still do to this day.

How Important Is Content for SEO?

Content is massively important for SEO. For those who don’t know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

This is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website from search engines.

Search engines evolve constantly and in order for a website to be shown as one of the results of a search, it needs to fulfill many prompts.

Both the amount of conditions the website has successfully fulfilled and the quality of that fulfillment is important for its potential promotion.

Content plays a large role in this game, as it’s one of the determining factors in search results.

Google has become an elite ambassador of having fairly strict conditions that need to be fulfilled in order for a website to show as a top result.

The reason behind this is that Google wants to remain unbiased and offer only the most accurate results to its users.

Why “Content Is King” Is Important in SEO?

Creating fresh content for your website is, firstly, a clear sign to Google that your website’s active. Google’s algorithms are careful about this, and know-how to recognize an active website and differentiate it from an inactive one.

Another important aspect of creating content is its originality, as well as quality.

Google’s algorithm also knows how to recognize spam, meaning that the person providing the content for the site can’t just copy and paste someone else’s article – that will result in Google ignoring the website.

And if a person does this often – Google will recognize that pattern.

The content needs to be original and high in quality, as the algorithm knows how to recognize it.

It also shouldn’t be flooded with keywords.

It’s obvious that having more keywords will lead to the algorithm listing the website higher on the list, but the fact is that too many keywords will appear as spamming.

Why Is “Content Always King”?

Content will always be king because people don’t like being misinformed.

Content marketing has completely changed the game, making businesses earn people’s trust.

Something cold, distant, and unrelatable like a company, a business, and the corporate world…is now trusted.

Something that was earlier thought to exist with the explicit purpose of drawing as much money as it could from people’s pockets is now trusted with brand loyalty, turning their heads towards the people, instead of away from them.

The reason for this is quality content, people started trusting companies and corporations when they learned that they had a soul.

This progress only happened on the backs of content creators, who decided to implement a new strategy in marketing: to listen instead of interrupting, to ask the consumers what they want instead of telling them, and to show that they care as well.

This strategy has brought a rebirth to modern business and it’s harvested amazing results.

Where to Get the Best Content for Your Website?

Content generators may be the answer to this question, an answer that a lot of people tend to jump to, but it’s the wrong one.

Although there are legitimate content generators online, there’s no computer and algorithm in the world that can beat the creativity of real, human writing.

Obviously, you could write on your own if that’s what you’re looking for, but if you’re running a website then you’re surely busy enough, and writing takes time.

Firstly, if you’re not experienced and good at writing, then it’ll take a long time before you’re good enough to want to publish your content online.

Secondly, even experienced writers need time to write an article, depending on the length, of course. If this is the problem you’re facing, then you’re in luck.

Content writing has derived directly from content marketing, becoming a massive industry that’s generated almost 300 billion dollars in the USA in 2020.

This means that there are people out there whose only jobs are creating quality content about a given topic, with fine-tuned precision aimed at SEO and content marketing.

These people (including myself) are known as content writers.

Content writers are usually freelancers, hired by a company per job, or regular writers at businesses that specialize in this kind of stuff.

There are businesses out there who hire a whole lot of writers who do nothing but write articles you can buy, and these articles have surely passed quality control at said businesses.

The most important aspect of this is time. The simple rule is: you have to spend money to make money.

You can’t make money without investing. Investing in a quality piece of writing for your website will firstly and most importantly ensure that search engines’ algorithms recognize that content as something that they should show on the first page of results.

Secondly, it will save you a whole lot of time. This way you’re investing in your time.

Content writers are usually trained writers who have studied or have a ton of practice in the field, and they can usually comply with all your requests.

If you can’t find a specific article you need, you can usually request a specific topic from the business that you’ve decided to go with.

Investing in good content will surely go your way.

In today’s business climate, taking into consideration the pandemic upon us, it’s crucial to stay atop the game and actively compete with the competition.

This model of marketing, focusing on content, is surely going to ensure that.

After all, content is king.


  • Tristan

    Tristan has a strong interest in the intersection of artificial intelligence and creative expression. He has a background in computer science, and he enjoys exploring the ways in which AI can enhance and augment human creativity. In his writing, he often delves into the ways in which AI is being used to generate original works of fiction and poetry, as well as to analyze and understand patterns in existing texts.