How Content Got its Royal Status

How did content get its royal status? You might think this is a new concept started a few years ago as we got inundated with content when Google ushered in Authorship, where tons of businesses and business professionals started churning out large amounts of content, trying to make their mark, and achieve better SEO. Despite that reality, it isn’t the reason why content was and is, so heavily weighted.  In fact, Bill Gates in January of 1996 in his essay called “Content is King” said “Content is where I expect real money will be made on the internet.”  You might be in ah of Mr. Gates for having such foresight, however, I ‘m not. I know, it’s not the most popular view, but let me explain.

In my mind, it’s a fact that content has always been king!  Think about it, we have been dependant on content for ages via newspapers, magazines, and other various publications. When I was growing up during the 70’s and 80’s before home computers were all the rage, doing research was a total different beast. The first thing I would reach for is the Encyclopedia Britannica. Back in those days, everyone I knew had a set in their home.  I coveted these brown and black beauties, complete with golden accents that were showcased on a shelf of their own, in our upstairs hallway. These books were loaded with information, like a very narrow version of the internet. Next would be a trip to the local library to find books and archives of newspapers. You would spend hours at the library sifting through books trying to find the information you needed.  You were either left with too little information, or lugging tons of books home, which took forever to go through.

In today’s world, it’s much different. We have all sorts of information at our fingertips, more than ever before.  The down side, there is as much information out there, as there is misinformation. One has to do their due diligence to make sure the information is valid. You still spend hours researching, but the amount of information for the time spent is usually astronomical in comparison. Not to mention, you can take the information along with you, wherever you go, and it’s doesn’t weigh a ton.

I’m not certain we can say for sure when content got its royal status. Perhaps it was decades ago when Sumner Redman coined the phrase “Content is King”, or maybe it was when newspapers were first published in Europe during the 17th century. It could date back to 3200 BCE when the first word was written in Mesopotamia.  We could take it further, hieroglyphics, not words, but images, with the intention to communicate during that same time period in Egypt, or even cave paintings dating back some 40,000 years ago.  It should be said that content will always, and forever be king, despite which form it may take, or if Google’s algorithms place value on it or not.