September 02 2011

Content Writing Company In Search Of an Audience Caught In Dilemma

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A content writing company still goes pale if asked to forward a rationale for website content writing. The debate around the topic, “writing for search engine or for the audience” is not new and it has been in discourse for quite a few years. But no decisive and convincing argument was available till 2008 when Mike Moran and Bill Hunt presented their Search Engine Marketing (second edition) corroborating the interest of the audience. “The best philosophy for writing for search is: Write for people first, not for search engines”, the book read.

Apparently though, this perception has been strengthened when successive Google updates from February through April this year sabotaged thousands of websites ostensibly in an attempt to cleanse the web of duplicate or inappropriate content. Popular article directories were stripped off their ranking. Google came out as a philanthropist. What Moran and Hunt said seemed more than true to those who relied on this search engine for visibility. But the panda update and the farmer update don’t explain it all.

Some de facto elements in the present state of web marketing

It is true that the easy-go article spinners of SEO content writing company paid themselves off. But if you are writing for the web, can you cast a blind eye to the fact that website content writing is grossly different from the writings for print? If these two are different, then you must also acknowledge and adhere to the standard of web content writing and pay attention to the features that typifies this standard. If the pious objective behind writing is to ‘inform, educate and entertain the reader’, then why do the concept of keywords and content optimization exist? Again if you concede to the structural demands of web content writing, does it not imply a shared role of users and search engine in determining rank.

(NB: the most important factors in PR determination are website traffic and a visitor’s average time on site.)

Now if this is the present state of web culture, the whistle blowing updates by the California-based search engine are paradoxical and self-evading and discursive. One of the premises of this honor-killing of many content site was that they had inappropriate adverts that didn’t match the search queries a page does well for.

So, when a search engine presupposes a site’s usefulness and restricts its performance on the basis of that presupposition, it foils the site’s attempt to entertain the user.

A whole new perspective

Without making it further critical, it can be well observed that the premise embraced by Moran and Hunt invites examination. And an examination has been done. “Audience, Relevance, and Search” by James Mathewson, Frank Donatone and Cynthia Fishel do not affront Moran and Hunt. But the 2010 book justly observed that “writing for search engines approximates writing for people”.

The substantiation provided by the writers are sound and they cut across a number of related discourses like the difference between writing for web vs writing for print, behavioral differences between web readers and print readers and also the conceptual construct of search engine crawlers. Their basic stance develops in the following manner:

  • All the web content writers are in search of an audience.
  • Search engine acts as a mechanism that bridge the audience with the website content.
  • Crawlers mimic the user behavior managing and offering content as per query (keywords).
  • Crawlers have enforced standards (keyword-richness, authenticity and relevancy) for writers to make their write up eligible for visibility.
  • Therefore writing for the search engine approximates writing for the audience.

This book makes the job of a website content writing company more defined. The uniqueness of the argument constitutes in identifying the basic design of a crawler which represents a user.

The thing that crawls: SEO content simplified

A website reader does not surrender control to be guided by the content path which is the case while reading in print. Even if reading bulk content writing, a reader is likely to skim and scan the whole to find out if there is anything relevant enough for a second look. They just look for keywords or what the writers call ‘nuggets’ to decide whether to read on or to leave. This is exactly what the crawlers look for to assess relevancy and assign rank.

Mathewson, Donatone and Fishel pinpoint that the writer of a website must provide these nuggets or brief pieces of solid and relevant information at the proper places of the page. Search engine crawlers impersonate user and scan the pages for keywords and on the basis of these keywords, pages are indexed. This is why though the term ‘thin content’ has become a frequent phrase in website content writing and SEO content writing, in particular, use of keywords will continue to remain a point of the attention for all writers.

Therefore efforts should be given to understand how the current SEO requirements are being influenced by search engine algo and its obligation to the users. This understanding will surely disarm the SEO geeks and check black SEO like keyword stuffing.

However, credit must be given to the writers of the book for settling on the term ‘approximation’ instead of any variant.

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