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Writing Web Content with the Google Penguin in Mind

When Google’s spam-fighting algorithm Penguin made its debut appearance on April 24th, SEOs and Webmasters immediately revolted against the algorithm claiming that it only hurt their site and caused a dramatic drop in their site’s rankings.

Shortly after the Penguin’s release, Google Engineer Matt Cutts stated that the algorithm served to combat sites that cheat the search system by over-optimizing and conducting bad SEO practices such as repeatedly stuffing keywords in content, producing duplicate content, creating low quality links, and creating titles that contain solely keywords, among many others.

One major emphasis in Cutts’ many explanations when discussing (and defending) the algorithm rested on emphasizing that the new Google Penguin algorithm serves to help sites with high quality content but low rankings achieve higher rankings in the SERPs in comparison to competitor sites that hold just the opposite: low quality content and high rankings due to heavy optimization.

All too often SEOs and Webmaster think more like robots and less like humans. Content is written for the purpose of an online audience to read. Who wants to read content only to find every other word hyperlinked? Sometimes the better question is who wants to read duplicate content on a site with every page providing the same text? To online audiences, it means online businesses could care less about what readers want or think. And, if that’s the case, then it seems business aren’t worried about their success. A business survives by customers and customers start as readers online. Therefore, keep your readers atop the importance pyramid.

Writing good web content entails preparation, creativity and skill. All content should have a purpose and give readers a “call to action.” Listed below are best writing practices that meet Penguin criteria that businesses should follow when creating website content as well as offsite content.

Use extended versions of keywords
Don’t just use the keyword that Google Adwords provided you with. Instead, make the keyword a call to action. For example, if your keyword is “vintage apparel” use “shop vintage apparel online” as your keyword. You should think about what phrases you would use when searching a particular product or service.

Don’t stress solely on keywords
Although keywords play an important role in SEO, when writers focus heavy attention on the keyword alone, they may feel intimidated because they know little about the subject. A keyword doesn’t have to be the topic of a writing piece itself, but rather should fit into the content.

Give each page its own individualized attention
Pages on a website should have content created specifically for the purpose of the page. For example, if a page is created for a certain product, then the content should focus solely on that product and provide informative content for readers.

Stay current and newsy
Readers love reading content that they can learn from and make use of. Writing “How to’s” and creating lists are two great ways to capture the interest of readers. But, you should also try to keep content current. Think about what’s going on in other industries and in society in general that would make for a great read.

If you don’t have the time to write clear, creative and unique content then your best bet is to hire someone who can.

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