Have you felt the impact of Google Penguin yet? Some are saying this April update is one of the major shake-ups to rock the internet world this year. Along with Google Panda , the Penguin has brought about a number of radical changes that completely alter the way we look at SEO.
For the uninitiated, Google Penguin is part of a series of updates to Google’s search engine algorithm that started with the Google Panda in 2011. These updates were designed to refine search results, and most importantly, to clear the net of annoying spam sites that were often filled with unreadable, keyword-riddled content—clearly not meant to be understood by human readers. However, the Penguin has also affected a lot of genuine but poorly performing websites.
A website’s ranking is now more dependent on its author’s online reputation and authority on a subject matter. Instead of pageviews and backlinks, high-quality content is a determining factor in Google’s search rankings.
The Penguin demand quality
So, how do you define the term “quality content?” There are really no set guidelines or formula for writing SEO-efficient content, but there are still few pointers that web writers should follow:
1. Write for humans.
This means no keyword-stuffing. Content should not be written with the sole purpose of making it rank higher on search results, with no regard to its relevancy and readability. A writer should be creative and unique; and possess genuine interest and knowledge on the topics that they write about.
2. Engage them.
Ask thought-provoking questions; inspire friendly debate; answer comments. This will prove to your readers that behind all that content, is a human being. They’ll want to stay on a page longer and read more.
3. Start off with a bang.
You need to find a “hook”. This is effectively the most attention-grabbing part of an article. In web writing, start where you’ll instantly grab any reader’s attention: the heading. Avoid the generic: “Reasons to use QR codes”. Especially when you could write: “QR codes—Fad or Future? Here are our top 5 reasons to try them”.
Writing high-quality content is not rocket science. But it requires an understanding of what people want to read…and a whole lot of common sense.