My Beef with SEO Copywriters
So, you are an SEO copywriter, sounds like such a sexy title, doesn’t it? Imagine springing it on your new catch.
“I am an SEO Copywriter,”
You then lean back and watch them as they get bewildered by your big title.
Well, I have got news for you. No, I actually have got beef for you. I hate SEO writing with a passion. I honestly want to believe that there is nothing like SEO writing. This is probably because I am more of a natural freelance writer than an SEO maverick. I will never write for Google Penguins, Pandas, Hummingbirds or any other animal that Google may decide to let loose from their zoo in the future. There is no room in my company for writers whose main aim is to write for the search engines, too.
“But what do you do when a client has given you specific keywords to use in the copy?”
Go ahead and use them but make sure that the keywords sound natural and that they do not break the flow of the copy. I call it unobtrusive use of keywords. I am for instance optimizing this article for the keyword ‘SEO Writing’, but you won’t notice me springing it here and there in a way that will make you want to gag. The flow is natural. The copy is readable. You will not even notice that I was using any keyword in the article. This is good SEO copywriting. What even makes it better is that it is written for real users, not for the search engines.
Good SEO writing invites third parties to link to your content! Clients that I have worked with (yes I do work with clients, not for clients) love this kind of SEO. They may at first complain that the copy is not well optimized for their keywords, but believe me; most of them come to thank me later when they start getting unsolicited backlinks from authoritative sources!
Apart from my rather passionate dislike for SEO Writing, there is another reason why you should be worried if you are still calling yourself an SEO copywriter and using the old tactics to try to rank. The place of SEO writing as you know it is on its deathbed, thanks to a rich history of updates on the Google Search Engine algorithms.
The Place of SEO Writing After Updates on the Google Panda, Penguin and the Hummingbird
A few years ago, having as many keyword phrases on your copy was ideal to getting ranked on top of the search engine result pages. It was the only way that the Google algorithms could know what your website was about. As a result, there was so much low quality and duplicate of content especially by internet marketers who were fond of using manufacturer descriptions to sell the products. Then came the algorithm changes and they started scampering about like frightened sheep.
The Day the Panda Came Calling
Google Panda laid emphasis on unique content. Internet marketers and affiliates who relied on manufacturer-descriptions took a big hit, never to recover again. Many opted to start new websites and blogs and populate them with fresh content and buy bundles of cheap third-party links to regain their glorified place on the top of the SERPS. Keywords were still a big deal even after the Panda updates, and in the quest to getting ranked SEO writers overused misused keyword phrases to an extent that content on their pages was nothing but a mumble-jumble of their chosen key phrases. Google became wiser.
Google Penguin Tries To Straighten Things Up
After the Panda failed to instill a sense of direction on the quality of web content, the bright brains at Google went back to the zoo and came back with the Penguins. They became the watchdogs for over-optimization and unnatural linking. Web copies that were merely jumbled keyword phrases took a big hit, and were buried in the deep abyss of SERPS.
The Google Hummingbird Sings a Sweet Hum to Internet Users
If webmasters were worried about the Panda and Penguin updates, the Hummingbird should be a reason for them to shit in their pants! Although the effects of the Hummingbird are still to have any significant impact, it is believed that they will be a complete game changer as the emphasis is shifted from keyword phrases to trying to answer user queries.
I honestly believe that Google deserves a standing ovation for doing away with emphasis on keywords and striving to lay emphasis on content that is user-centric. The cyberspace was fast filling with crap that nobody wanted to read. Webmasters are being forced to optimize content for readers as opposed to optimizing it for search engines. The emphasis on valuable content that can be shared in the social media such as Facebook or Twitter means a lot to businesspersons who have always shunned away from blackhat SEO tactics.
P.S. If you would love really quality content that is valuable to your audience, don’t hesitate to hire me in elance.