Let’s write for Humans, not search engines!
Imagine search engines would list their results in alphabetical order, we’d live in a world full of new A-words.
The day the first algorithm began to rank search results, SEO was born, and prose became content.
Never in the history of human literacy has so much been written and never has so much thereof been ignored.
Quantity obsessed SEO fanatics are churning out content for content’s sake – Volumes, it would put Leo Tolstoy to shame.
Pleonasms, tautology, transition words … their favourite tools. Word count means money. Then someone found out that ‘how to’ gets you immense traffic. Browse the net for an hour today, and you forget how to exist without this ubiquitous instruction.
Web Crawlers are good at counting words, even at spotting unique content, but they have not learnt to recognise quality, yet. You try to keep up with Penguins, Hummingbirds, Possums, Hawks, animals in all shapes and sizes that are making the rounds on SEO-logy sites, and you are always one step behind the next algorithm.
If you focus your writing too much on Bing or Google, there is a danger that you forget the reader.
The mental attitude of a content writer should be: I don’t tweak my writing for Google, let Google tweak their algorithm for my writing.
Of course, it can’t be a bad thing to know what’s behind the algorithms of search engines; when I make these comments about SEO, it isn’t that I ignore them, it’s more the cynical old doc inside me who is quick at highlighting the exaggeration.
I am aware of basic SEO rules, and yes, content is king. But the reader must not become secondary, especially when dealing with medical content aimed at patients. We have the same patient duty in the virtual sphere that we pledge with our Hippocratic oath in the real world.
And if my SEO-bot tells me: “Your text of 251 words is slightly below the recommended minimum of 300 words – add a bit more copy”, I have two short words for him, which I shall not publish in this article.