SEO a curse for Content Writers

Oh God! Back to SEO topics after almost 6-12 months. I am not a big fan of SEO (anymore). SEO can really be harmful to many, esp talented (web) content writers. They end up learning the worst way of presenting good content. Is your content making tom cruise ugly? This post will help you understand why SEO can be a curse for content writers. Also this will help you design an exclusive SEO training session for Content Writers.

SEO a curse for content writers (Thank God, we can’t do SEO on an image)

  • Are you a content writer?
    No, but why did you ask?
  • Why are you then putting your nose in?
    (Laughing with Anger &^%$%$^$ ) A very good question to start with. I am a Maths wonk, a computer nerd and an align to English Linguistics. IMHO mathematics can create better brain friendly content than plain English Linguistics and Computer can make it organically interactive. Moreover I have always believed in the following equation:

    Value of content = Value of Author (information) x Productive Time Spent x Platform Used.

    An experience Author can bring in the simplicity but a hardworking author can compensate for his inexperience. Moreover a good platform (e.g. wiki) can bring in more collective intelligence. This needs a complete new post and will be doing it soon. Most of the time users are in need of information. As 70% of programming is algorithm and understanding the need, writing content is also about understanding the user requirement. SO I WILL HAVE MY SAY :).

  • Ok, ok, :). Why do you feel SEO is bad for Content Writers?
    I know my SEO post is due but let me put my SEO equation:

    f(SEO) = a x f(onpage Optimization) + b x f(offpage optimization) + c x (some minor factors).

    Here I will be exclusively talking about Onpage Optimization. Many companies teach (excessive) Onpage optimization to their content writers. Such onpage optimization is killing the real content representation skills.

  • I know you will be writing a post on SEO but can you brief Onpage Optimization?i
    Yeah, sure. Search Engines rank the pages on the basis of many factors including the content of the page. Based on the keyword occurrences, its placements and its representation, the page can appear under the Search engine results (SERP) for the resp keyword search.

    Onpage factor (may) includes (who cares):

    1. Keyword in URL, Domain name, title, meta (kw, desc) tags
    2. Keyword density in content section (SEs can separate the real content and the template content.)
    3. Keyword in headings (h1,h2,h3,…). (Many follow the following pattern, one h1 for main section and h2’s for other sections).
    4. Keyword font sizes. (Bold, italics etc)
    5. Keyword proximity, phrase order, prominence (placement, earlier the better).
    6. Keyword in alt text, anchor text of internal and external links. (Learn why a link is called a hyperlink. As that text becomes hyper text).
    7. Freshness of the content, Page Theming, Keyword stemming, Applied Semantics, LSI and blah blah ..
  • Thanks
    No probs, Now have a look at the following quality content (written by an attorney with over 30 years experience) on chapter 13 bankruptcy:

    “A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is useful in following three cases:

    1. If you own a house that is near to be foreclosed upon, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stop such foreclosure, and allow you to repay mortgage payments during the 3 year plan.
    2. If you have a large amount of taxes due, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you force the IRS to take a 3 year payment plan without any additional interest or penalties.
    3. If you need chapter 13 bankruptcy protection due to some lawsuits or other creditor issues, but don’t qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or want to avoid a Chapter 7 bankruptcy for other reasons. Some choose this approach because of their ethical viewpoint to pay their creditors something rather than nothing.”

    When you are asked to review such highly paid SEOed article, you have no option other than offering a prayer to Internet Lord’s rep Matt Cutts. Content writers need to follow the following points:

    1. You need to make a content scan-able.
    2. You need to establish the credibility to get user’s permission for further marketing.

    SEO has corrupted the art of decorating a content. We have started pleasing Google over users. Let me redo the above content.

    A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is useful in following three cases:

    1. If you own a house that is near to be foreclosed upon, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stop such foreclosure, and allow you to repay mortgage payments during the 3 year plan.
    2. If you have a large amount of taxes due, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you force the IRS to take a 3 year payment plan without any additional interest or penalties.
    3. If you need chapter 13 protection due to some lawsuits or other creditor issues, but don’t qualify for a Chapter 7, or want to avoid a Chapter 7 bankruptcy for other reasons. Some choose this approach because of their ethical viewpoint to pay their creditors something rather than nothing.”

    I have removed some excessive use of “bankruptcy” word as chapter 13 will imply chapter 13 bankruptcy. Now you decide which is more appealing and scan-able. Also you can see writers using links unnecessarily to get additional boost.

  • Thanks, so do you mean a content writer should not go through SEO course at all?
    No, as I mentioned there should be a white-hat SEO course for content writers. When I say white-hat I mean the actions which will help you avoid the unwanted penalties and will help the dumb Bot understand your content.
  • What will be the course?
    I think this post is already too long to cover another topic, I will cover it in my next post. good night

What is your opinion about teaching a SEO course for Content Writers? What will you cover in that?

14 thoughts on “SEO a curse for Content Writers

  1. Anirudh

    Yes I agree with all the points mentioned there. Content Writers should not get all SEO courses.

    There SEO knowledge should be limited to how to make an article more user friendly and talkable. They should not worry about the links that needs to be put within that content.

  2. MrDoubts

    Hi Aji,

    Another nice post!
    However, I don’t quite agree with Anirudh and Prasanta.

    @ Anirudh – “Content Writers should not get all SEO courses” – They should get it and they must understand – what to use, where to use and how to use. More importantly, they must understand, what not to use.

    @ Prasanta – In my opinion, the word “decoration” simply murders a page.

    @ Course for Content Writers:
    1) At least 1 Year Direct Marketing Experience – under the sun
    2) They must be taught that “romanticism is nothing but a TOOL”
    3) Editing like a dumb to attain more simplicity over apparent simplicity
    4) Sharpening the nose for news, growing powerful smelling faculty
    5) Mathematics, logical reasoning, understanding personal thinking process
    6) Reading and writing and more writing
    7) Theory of representation
    8) Discussion, discussion and more discussion on any topic

    @ SEO course for Content Writers:
    Complete – Designing Parameters, Link building, Search Engine Marketing and other related SEO topics like LSI, WEB 2(!), Search Engines etc.

  3. Saikat

    We have to understand the difference between Writer and Content Writer. A writer can write whatever he/she wishes…can fly around the clouds, can converse with birds…But when this writer is going to write for a web page, he has to follow ‘certain rules’. And if he had gone to write copy in an ad agency then also he had to follow ‘certain rules’. In advertising world, writers are asked to learn a bit of human psychology…like at what position your product name should appear first, how many times it should appear in the whole copy, what is optical center and many more things.

    Similarly, when a person is going to write for web, he/she should follow certain norms. There is no harm if he/she does not; but it is profitable if he/she does! Web content writing is a means of selling product after all! Then why not arrange my words from Sales and Marketing perspective. However, while writing for wikipedia, I will not do a bit of SEO.

    Happy Writing 🙂

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  5. Susmita

    A content writer should have SEO knowledge as that will actually tell him/her when she is crossing the line – i mean if you are not aware of keywords and the like, how will you reduce the number of words in order to maintain the keyword density. But off-course, when an article is written, it should be written simply focusing on customer needs and then the writer can just go through and check that he/she hasn’t been over-optimizing the words. Also, content writers should know about the links that are to be added in an article. This will help them organize and write the content such that the links appear to be very natural and not seem to have been given for SEO purposes.

  6. Pingback: SEO a Course for Content Writers - Part - 1 « Questioning SEO Copywriting Doubts

  7. Dexter

    Your posting reinforces the long standing feeling that I have about content. Get quality content out there that answers people’s questions. Use SEO writing courses to help sharpen your message rather than filling in structure to appease the search engines. The search engine architects keep revamping their systems in order to cater to the reality of the content and what people are asking. So at some point you can fall outside the bean curve if you are over optimizing your content to fit a particular concept.

    On the other hand I have smiled as I realize that some people are simply repackaging grammar school lessons that were ignored by many people. Do you remember first being introduced to the concepts of outlining a story early in your education? Some kids shrieked and simply created an outline after they wrote the paper? Well today many people are earning a living simply by connecting those traditional concepts and adapting to the internet!

    So right now I am just writing freehand. However I have focused on sharing one idea in this comment. Yes. . I do allow myself to write outside of my own tools that help me optimize my messages. I suppose that is the human still inside me!

    Some things never change!

    All the best!

    Dexter

  8. lokesh

    Writing good content based on area of experience. And also depth knowledge on your work. If some one says SEO technique is a small so SEO technique comes in more than 300+ tools & tips. Without using of SEO Internet business is 0………….

  9. AjiNIMC aka Web Kotler Post author

    [quote]Without using of SEO Internet business is 0………….[/quote]
    This part is not very clear. What do you mean by SEO here?

    Welcome to the blog, good to have you here 🙂 Keep visiting and debating.

  10. Cecily

    Um… I am a web content writer and I hate SEO tasks. They are so trying…. Especially clients who give you grammatically wrong keyword phrases and tells you: “use the keywords even if they seem awkward.” … It just goes against every fiber of my being to write something like that. 😀

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