The dramatic change in search engine algorithms is a triumph of man over machine. And, yes, maybe that’s overstating it, but it’s certainly a victory for quality.

With the introduction of these new algorithms (“Penguin” is the code name for Google’s newest effort to counteract “web spam” – content of dubious quality that is stuffed with keywords designed to appeal to web crawling), the pendulum is swinging aggressively towards quality. Now, the emerging focus is on content that actually generates an audience – the more it is shared socially, the more it is clicked on, the more it is passed around, the higher it will rank on search engines, thereby driving more traffic.

But the goal of content should not be raw traffic.

It should be building trust.

The goal of content is to engage your audience in a conversation, get them thinking (and also getting your team thinking), and to demonstrate that you’re there to help them solve their challenges. And you aren’t necessarily going to nickel and dime them for it.

It’s all about providing value.

The old-style of SEO, way back in 2011, was really all about pure awareness. It was about piling up the biggest numbers at the top of the sales funnel, fully acknowledging that very few of those folks would ever move down the funnel. The content that worked for old-style SEO was targeted towards bots, not readers, and consequently was not created to provide value.

The new-style of SEO rewards you for creating the type of content that does provide value, content that is seen as valuable enough to share. Content that provides this reader value is the type of content that not only raises awareness, but also nurtures prospects as they move through the sales funnel. It creates a warmer environment for your sales team because they’re suddenly having an elevated, value-based conversation, rather than a commoditized, price-driven one.

And this is good; challenging for organizations embracing a content strategy, but good for readers/customers. And good for those organizations that are able to create content that their audience is craving.

We should rejoice over the triumph of quality. All that’s left is the question – can you commit to delivering quality?