SEO: Sexy and You Know It
Have you been trying to seduce Google into giving your Web pages a number one spot—but Google keeps spurning your advances?
There could be a good reason for that. You could be trying to “dress up” your content too much, and it’s falling flat with the Big G.
Right now, many marketers share a common fear:
“I’m afraid to write new content for our site—what if Google doesn’t like it?”
This sounds like a needy person who is desperately trying to get someone to notice them. Instead of being authentic, they change everything about themselves to “fit in.”
Part of that difficulty comes from the need to seduce Google. Instead of authentically writing great content—content that grabs their readers and doesn’t let go—they focus instead on giving Google what they “think” it wants.
Back in 2009, I wrote a post called, “SEO Copywriting Is Dead. Long Live SEO Content Marketing.” During that time, a number of companies realized that low-quality content—and lots of it—would give them the search listings they wanted. The typical process was to identify keyphrases that may be relevant and hire an inexpensive (often offshore) writer to create gobs of articles for literally pennies.
Did this content convert or somehow contribute to sales goals? No. Was it written with a customer persona in mind? No.
In fact, much of this content didn’t even read well. Keywords were repeated to the point of nonsense. Some of the sentences didn’t make sense. A fifth-grade English teacher would have given it a big fat grade of “F.”
It was solely created to get in Google’s results-page pants.
Are You Sabotaging Your SEO Content?
It’s true that spammy, keyphrase-stuffed content worked—for a while. (That’s assuming your definition of “it worked” means it positioned in the top results.) Then, in 2011, an algorithmic update (code named: Panda) wiped “thin” content from the top spots. The first rollout of Panda affected 12 percent of U.S.-based sites (bit.ly/QsQUqG). Their rankings literally plummeted overnight—and so did their profits.