Slave To SEO?

The days of readers and search engines tolerating poorly written, SEO-stuffed content are gone.  When a reader happens across a website in their search for useful information, they are more than mildly annoyed to stumble across the page filled with keywords that are misplaced and inaccurately portray the website.

To the delight of users, search engines are getting the message and advancing the methods used to not only recognize keywords but to put them into a context.  How cool is that?  What does this mean to the Everyday Joe searching for information on snakes?  It means that he will actually get results that have interpreted the website and analyzed that it does contain content on snakes, slimy, cold-blooded venomous slithering snakes.

It also means that the search engines are in the process of creating a system that allows the Everyday Copywriter to actually write quality content that is informative and helpful.  The days of being focused on how to stuff the necessary keywords into copy that will get the highest ranking with the search engines are coming to an end.  We’re not there quite yet, but we are headed in the right direction.

What has changed?  The old idea was that you had to use a keyword  in your content several times throughout your page in order to appear on a search engine results page (SERP), such as Google.  Say you are writing an article on Diamondback Rattlesnakes.  If someone was searching for information on Arizona baseball teams or military firearms, your page would show up in the results.  The SERP’s formula was not able to distinguish between what the searcher wanted versus what your page was about.  It was only going on the keyword.

The fascinating advances in SERP is that the formulas have the ability to recognize CONTENT and not just the keywords.  By writing a clear, concise article that conveys the idea of a Diamondback Rattlesnake, through a sentence such as “slithering, venomous species capable of causing fatality,” the SERP is able to take the context of the sentence and return likely results.  Perfect results?  Not yet.  But far more advanced than ever before.

So what does this mean to content writers?  The beauty of this advancement is that as more quality content is written, SERP formulas will begin to recognize the content as a whole, and not by its individual parts (keywords).  It means that while keywords still play a part in the game, they will no longer have to be the sole focus.  You will be able to create content that will appeal to your intended audience.  Your materials will be more accurately found.  And you will be able to get back to creating quality content.