Things we think about, then decide to wordify
January 2014

Should you write for humans or for Google?

In the long ago past of the internet… all right, a few years ago, web copy that was written for people was very different to that which had been written with Google or one of the other search engines in mind. While some of the best content creators could create copy that delivered on both fronts the majority were not able to and content that had been written to attract the attention of an algorithm was unlikely to catch the attention of a person.

As Google has refined their algorithm this has changed dramatically, with meta keywords and embedded keywords being devalued so that content had a more natural flow. In the past if you wanted someone to find your page you need to use the keyword throughout the content, so that if you were writing about panthers you would have had to repeatedly use that exact word, but now Google would be able to find your page with that search term even if you never actually use the word itself at all. The algorithms are able to use other related terms that help it home in.

Does this mean that keywords are obsolete? No. What it means is that they are not the be all and end all of content creation anymore. They are still important, but they no longer hold the reins of power so completely. What it means is that when you create content now you do not need to be as brutally obvious, you do not need to pepper your content with a single keyword but can write more natural content that appeals to readers. It still pays to use terms that will connect with your keyword though, so that if you are writing about panthers then you would want to use other terms like “big cat”, “predator”, “mammal” and any other terms that fit with the keyword.

What this means is that content creators can now focus on writing for the reader and not for the search engine. It means that they can write natural sounding content that would be equally at home in print form as it is online. That means that we are free from content that is formulaic and write by the numbers.

To get the best results you need to focus on writing the best possible content, the team at Google have refined their algorithm to the point where it is able to find content by using related keywords and by judging how all of the content works together. That means that content creators can largely ignore the search engine and focus on entertaining and informing their readers.

However, for the conscientious, it would pay to read over what you have written and to assess how many related words are used in the piece. If you are talking about panthers but have not mentioned the word cat, predator, jungle, jaguar or any other term that would connect with panther then you may want to go back and add a few of these in!!

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