Google Wants You to be a Better Blog Writer

The days of schlocky web copy and $1/post off-shore blog writing are over.

Thanks to Google’s new Panda update, your writing can no longer suck. You can’t just get by on 8th grade writing skills, or by hiring an off-shore blog writer for a buck a post anymore.

The new Google Panda update stresses usability and the user experience over whether you have the right keywords in your title and body copy, and over backlinks. Oh sure, they’re still counted, but Google is not putting as much emphasis on those as they once were, thanks to the recent JC Penney backlinking scandal.Photo of a panda

As a result of this, and other Google gaming-techniques that were being abused, Google said, “You know what? That’s it. No more trying to trick us. Now we’re going to start looking at what your users are doing.” (Watch the Rand Fishkin video at the bottom of this post for a much better explanation than I just gave.)

Now, Google is starting to pay attention to the user experience: Do they visit more than one page, which means they like what they see? Are they on for a minute or more, or do they bounce out after 10 seconds, which means you didn’t captivate them? Did they even visit your page when you were at the top of the search engine (i.e. did your page even look interesting)?

The short of it is, if your site sucks, people won’t visit. If they visit, they won’t stick around. And they certainly won’t subject themselves to more than one page of it.

So how do you get them to stick around? You’d better have great content. Not just good enough, not barely readable. Not “meh.” It needs to be awesome.
 
 
 

Wistia

Photo credit: peromhc (Flickr)

Be Sociable, Share!
    Shares 0
    About Erik Deckers

    Erik Deckers is the President of Pro Blog Service, a content marketing and social media marketing agency in Indianapolis, IN. He co-authored three social media books, including No Bullshit Social Media with Jason Falls (2011, Que Biz-Tech), and Branding Yourself with Kyle Lacy (2nd ed., 2012; Que Biz-Tech), and The Owned Media Doctrine (2013, Archway Publishing). Erik has written a weekly newspaper humor column for 10 papers around Indiana since 1995. He was also the Spring 2016 writer-in-residence at the Jack Kerouac House in Orlando, FL.

    Comments

    1. I’m a little late, Erik; I just found this. I have to say it’s not only insightful, but it’s funny. Not only is what you say the truth, but I love your writing style!

    2. This is a great article, Erik. It seems like Google is taking some of the “mechanics” out of search engine optimization, which could empower public relations professionals to take a more active development role in web content.

      I weighed in on this at and found commentary from Wordtracker on the subject too. There’s a link on my blog.

    3. Killer post Erik. At the risk of sounding like a trite B-school graduation speech, I consistently say that one of the least taught skills out there today and one of the most needed frankly — as Panda clearly demonstrates — is writing. There is just no way around it when you consider how much it is needed for all forms of content marketing — blogging, videos, tweets, status update (those two being a special craft), podcasts, and so on and so forth. Panda will help separate the wheat from the chafe and, as you note, hopefully clients will start realizing this and pay accordingly.

    4. This news both excites and terrifies me as a writer.

    5. I just don’t get how anyone who’s serious about their business can expect to pay $1 and get a great +500 word article that actually benefits them.

    Trackbacks

    1. […] media can be effective in helping products or services find an audience to generate conversations. Business blogging is the hub of any social media campaign. Yet, how do you move large segments of the population to […]

    2. Blogging, Social Media and Search Engine Optimization says:

      […] media can be effective in helping products or services find an audience to generate conversations. Business blogging is the hub of any social media campaign. Yet, how do you move large segments of the population to […]

    3. Curators Corner: What's Up in Social Media — SMC Vancouver SMCYVR: Social Media Club Vancouver says:

      […] Google Wants You to be a Better Blog Writer: Thanks to Google’s new Panda update, the days of schlocky web copy and $1/post off-shore blog writing are over. (problogservice) […]

    4. […] Yesterday morning I signed into Twitter and saw a great article by Eric Deckers (@edeckers) regarding the recent Panda update and exploring what it means for content writers of all types: “Google Wants You to be a Better Blog Writer.” […]

    5. Twitted by edeckers says:

      […] This post was Twitted by edeckers […]