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How to Write SEO Copy After Panda & Penguin (AP)

If you browse through a SERP (search engine results page) for a particular keyword you’ll notice an interesting phenomenon. The results you’ll find will often not match the keyword or phrase that you’ve entered. It’s close, but it often isn’t an exact match. Over the past few years it appears that Google has gotten a bit smarter and has figured out a way to distinguish synonyms as well as closely related keywords & keyword phrases. This is great news for writers.

Google isn’t looking for pages and pages full of keywords. They are looking for fresh, informative, original, and natural content that flows. The biggest mistake many bloggers & writers are making is applying the old rules of SEO to their content. A keyword doesn’t need to be repeated over and over anymore. As long as you have enough variation for a particular phrase you’ll be eligible to rank for it. According to Matt Cutts, “So, instead of always using “blue suede shoes” as-is (the entire, original keyphrase together), you can also use just “blue” and just “suede” and just “shoes” within the copy”. Keyword density should be an afterthought and according to Google “shouldn’t even be analyzed”.

LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) & How it Works

Latent semantic indexing refers to the indexing and retrieval method used by Google to deliver results to searchers. It is one part of Google’s algorithm that can establish associations between different keywords & keyword phrases. Due to LSI being included in the algorithm, articles can now be written with multiple keywords rather than simply focusing on one. This indexing method ultimately removes the handcuffs that have been placed on many great writers for years. The days of writing an article and then adding keywords are over. Quality content, with correct grammar, can now actually rank for a specific keyword.

Writing Quality Content for Humans

If you can deliver quality content on a consistent basis and understand how to promote that content properly, the rankings will come. Quality content should be the goal of each and every article, blog post, or web page. Here is a list of goals that can be utilized to create new content as well as improve your existing content:

  • Look for low quality, thin content with repetitive keywords & text.
  • Utilize copyscape.com to check for existing duplicate content
  • Avoid spinning articles for your site or for others.
  • Don’t add or stuff keywords after you have written your copy. We know it’s difficult. Don’t be tempted. Focus on text for humans not robots or search engines.
  • Longer articles are often seen as being of higher quality. 500 words per written piece is a good goal. It isn’t necessarily a written rule but one that makes sense.
  • Research keyword variations and use them instead of the targeted keyword.

“Never sacrifice the quality of your copy for the sake of the search engines.” – Matt Cutts. That sentence should be enough to get you thinking about what Google wants to include in their index.