Purpose – For companies that intend to respond to the modern conscious consumers’ needs, a great competitive advantage is played on the ability to incorporate sustainability messages in marketing communications. The aim of this paper is to address this important priority in the web context, building a semantic algorithm that allows content managers to evaluate the quality of sustainability web contents for search engines, considering the current semantic web development. Design/methodology/approach – Following the Design Science (DS) methodological approach, the study develops the algorithm as an artefact capable of solving a practical problem and improving the operation of content managerial process. Findings – The algorithm considers multiple factors of evaluation, grouped in three parameters: completeness, clarity and consistency. An applicability test of the algorithm was conducted on a sample of web pages of the Google blog on sustainability to highlight the correspondence between the established evaluation factors and those actually used by Google. Practical implications – Studying content marketing for sustainability communication constitutes a new field of research that offers exciting opportunities. Writing sustainability contents in an effective way is a fundamental step to trigger stakeholder engagement mechanisms online. It could be a positive social engineering technique in the hands of marketers to make web users able to pursue sustainable development in their choices. Originality/value – This is the first study that creates a theoretical connection between digital content marketing and sustainability communication focussing, especially, on the aspects of search engine optimization (SEO). The algorithm of “Sustainability-contents SEO” is the first operational software tool, with a regulatory nature, that is able to analyse the web contents, detecting the terms of the sustainability language and measuring the compliance to SEO requirements.
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