It has long been understood, accepted, and emphasized by online marketers that good, quality writing is the key to effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO). However, in the ever-changing and fast-evolving world of search engines, there is a constant need to redefine what “quality writing” encompasses. With several search engine updates rolled-out and lined-up in the previous and coming months, it has become imperative for online marketers to watch out for and adapt to these changes. As such, their way of writing has had to do so as well. So the question is, what now defines “quality writing” in SEO?
In 2011, Google implemented the Panda update which basically meant changing their search engine’s algorithms to ensure that sites with the most value in terms of content come up first in user searches. There was a time when the number of pages of online content determined its value in search engine rankings; the longer, the better. These days, the quality of content has become the key factor in establishing high search ranking. This means that sites with informative, significant, and comprehensive posts and articles come in first in user searches. Consequently, excessive and unnecessary keyword usage is no longer effective (not that it ever was); in fact, sites with such redundant content are put lower in online search results.
In connection with a web content’s relevance is its freshness and longevity. Again, part of Google’s 2011 update is to sift through which posts and articles are new and up-to-date. This means that aside from providing online users new contents in your website regularly, it is also important to update and perhaps edit some old posts. The idea here is to write content that are perennial – those that are true and applicable in the past, present, and even the near future.
Aside from internal updates, search engines are slowly becoming more integrated and interchangeable with social media. This basically means that people have started to turn to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and other such channels to acquire and share information. Online users have learned to be wary of search results, thus turning to recommendations and references made by those that they connect with online. This said, quality writing has also come to mean being in-tune with what the social community sees as significant and appealing. It has become about producing content that essentially meets the needs of online users on a more personal level.
The basic principles of quality writing online are still alive and true today. Proper grammar and spelling is still expected, point-blank content is still preferred, and well-organized data is still helpful. However, improvements in search engine technology, as well as growth in user attitudes, challenge online marketers to constantly reevaluate the content of their writing and apply changes wherever or however necessary.