Text and search engines

Writing for search-engines

Google is contantly making changes and alterations to its’ algorithms. Writing for search-engines has become both much harder and much simpler.

Google rewards content that:

  • Answers a question.
  • Is old and «evergreen», ie doesn’t need updating often but is still of high value over time.
  • Receives a lot of traffic from other sites, ie is linked to and considered valuable by others.
  • Is useful and imparts information.
  • Is written for a genuine reader.
  • Is shared on social platforms.
  • Is long and coherent.
  • Contains in-depth material.

Google penalises content that:

  • Displays «keyword-stuffing», ie has an artificially high number of keywords.
  • Is old and out of date.
  • Is not properly worded or written in complete sentences.
  • Is «empty» of useful information.
  • Is written for a search engine and not for the reader.
  • Is not useful to a genuine reader.

How to write for Google

The single best thing to do to optimise your content for Google is to keep making quality content. As long as you make sure you are writing for the reader, you’re good, as you then also automatically write for Google.

There are, however, a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Relate the content to its author. Google may very well use this connection to assess quality.
  • Make sure your content is shared. Getting people to vouch for the quality of the content by sharing it or calling attention to it, is the surest way for Google to assess it as quality content.
  • Know what topics your readers are looking for information on, and provide it, both broadly and in-depth.
  • Keep in mind what your readers will want to know, and how they will ask for it, instead of what you want them to know and how you want to present it.
  • Make content that keeps the reader on the page. It’s fine if the reader goes on to other pages, but make the content attractive to the reader, in order to make him/her stay on the page as long as possible. Google uses these statistics to assess quality.
  • Anticipate the readers’ questions, and answer them clearly in your content.
  • Try to limit yourself to one issue or question answered per page. You will not gain extra cred with Google for answering many questions on the same page, so the traditional FAQ is not a useful means to optimise traffic.
  • Top tips. This format naturally lends itself to Q&A matching. Rather than just saying what to avoid, focus the title on the real reason(s) to adopt or avoid the suggested actions.
  • Don’t be afraid of long texts that go in-depth, as long as the readability is good.
  • Forget keywords – think key phrases instead. Focus on concepts instead of keywords.
  • Write how you would search.
  • Keep your content unique. Don’t repeat the same content on different pages or sites, and if you have to, make sure you rewrite the text and word it differently.