The famous British comedy troupe Monty Python featured silly walks, silly talk and the Spanish Inquisition, all of which provided Grant Simmons, vice president of search marketing at, with a serious, if laugh-filled Monty Python guide to content marketing at the Internet Summit on Wednesday.

Simmons used images and themes from famous Monty Python sketches to explain how approaches its successful content marketing.

For instance, he used the Python routine from the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” about the crossing the “Bridge of Death” to say, “He would cross the Bridge of Death must ask the following questions.”

He noted that Google’s vision statement says it wants to provide answers to the world’s question in one click, usefully, anytime and anyplace.

  • does that by using the following steps:
  • Research what people are asking.
  • Build a better answer than anyone else.
  • Be expert, authoritative, and trustworthy.
  • And use the right format and medium to answer.

To do that, Simmons said, use good tools. He recommended SEMrush, Answer the, Ask site surveys and polls, the Google search console, and Google search engine results page (SERP),

Doing so led to ask questions “You might not think are key to your business but drive traffic,” he said.

For instance, it answers the question, “Is your house haunted,” for which it built a database of every allegedly haunted house in America. “It drove about 500,000 visits.”

Citing another Python sketch, the fat man who blew up after adding a wafer thin mint to an enormous dinner from “Monty Python and the Meaning of Life” film, he said, “Too much of a good thing can be bad.”

‘Avoid text overload’

It isn’t good to “over optimize,” he explained. “Avoid text overload.”

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition, Simmons noted, referring to yet another famous Monty Python routine. “No one expects a Google update. But we know it’s going to happen. Try to future proof against it.”

Three years ago, the site was hit by a Google update that affected traffic on many web properties. To get its rank and traffic back, the site removed a sizable number of its 110 million pages and internal links

“We got rid of a lot of crap,” Simmons said. “Don’t be a pile of rubble on the Internet. Get rid of what’s bad. Bounce low-value pages.”

The results? Site traffic rebounded 25 percent in three months.

If a page does deserve to exist, judged by engagement, time on the page and shares, “Improve it,” said Simmons. “Time on the page is a good indicator overall,” he added.

“Recognize thin content. Would you recommend or share it? The bottom line is to make your assessment via users, which is what Google does.”

Google also looks for content that is “expert, authoritative and trustworthy.” How do you bestow authority?

One way is through traditional, logical, relevant links, inbound and outbound and another is positive social signals.

“Let questions drive your content strategy,” he advised.

Provide the best answer in the best presentation with the least amount of friction (ads in the way or requiring clicking multiple pages) and use a “mobile first mindset.”