SEO content writers have seen a lot of changes comes through the figurative door in the last year. Google’s much talked about PANDA updates, as well as a few other subsequent changes, have affected the future of the industry. Regardless of whether a SEO content writer works freelance, is employed as an in-house communications specialist, or is looking for work with the help of a marketing job agency, he or she has to rework strategies to produce original, creative content that delivers value to both the reader and the client.
Here are four upcoming SEO trends impacting content writers:
1. Quality becomes king. After Google rolled out the Panda algorithm, content farms and other agencies that relied on copying and pasting text from other resources were punished by receiving low search scores. By pushing these websites off the first page of search engine results (sometimes even lower!), websites that provided new, creative and professional content were rewarded for their efforts. According to Search Engine Journal, 75 percent of search engine users never scroll past the first page of results.
As a result of this trend, companies are making the switch to hiring high-quality writers. However, it’s not just the quality of work that businesses are going to focus on. Demand for subject matter expertise (SME) is expected to grow as companies strive to find writers that know their industry.
2. Sharability of content becomes a part of the search engine ranking formula. The number and frequency of shares the content receives is expected to play a large role in the future rankings of websites on search engines. Google’s algorithm will now take into account how many comments a piece of writing receives, regardless of whether those comments appear on the page of the piece or shared on various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and G+. Search engine companies like Google will begin to take into account the likability of content via social media mediums to determine its relevance before spitting out search results.
3. Keyword strategies become more complex. When keywords first rolled out, many websites started peppering them in throughout the content regardless of whether the phrase or word truly made sense. Search engines originally determined the rankings of a website based on how often a keyword would appear on a site. However, updates to algorithms have made keyword stuffing an obsolete strategy. Now, SEO content writers must organically include keywords that seamlessly integrate into content.
A recent trend is the development of semantic keywords. An individual can now conduct a search and the search engine will generate results that utilize all the various forms and deviations of that keyword. Semantic refers to the interpretation of a word or phrase. The latest Penguin update from Google allows a SEO content writer to implement the use of these semantic keywords to improve the readability and searchability of content.
4. Automatic linking becomes outdated. Setting up auto links for a website may seem like a worthwhile venture for efficiency. However, the practice was abused and rarely had the desired results a business wanted. Content was soon overburdened with links that all led to the same page – cluttering the page and making readers unwilling to click on any link. Instead, SEO content writers should focus on implementing only a few quality links. By linking to outside sources that provide further in-depth on information covered in an article or an experts opinion, an article and the company, person or organization that runs it will receive authority points with search engines and readers.