Monday, October 15, 2007

SEO-Writing for Search Engines vs Writing for Humans

Second article in my SEO series, this post demonstrates how writing for humans and writing for search engines are different. [Read first part-SEO fundamentals](I'm no SEO expert. These are some simple observations only)

Post Titles

Writing for humans: Readers can sense the excitement, criticism, pun, hidden meaning etc in a title, though the words do not convey it. But search engines read the word and store it and do not interpret other meanings/perspective of the phrase.

For example, a title “What a bike Yaar!” might sound exciting and readers can understand that you’re likely to describe some new bike in that post. But for search engine, the title looks meaningless. Because, the keywords are missing in it. The words ‘what’ ‘bike’ ‘yaar’ are quite common and are not focused. On the other hand, a title “Bike review: New Honda Unicorn 2007” will gain you better visibility on a search engine, because search engine can understand that your post will be quite relevant to those who might be searching for details on New Honda Unicorn 2007

Similarly, “We had a great weekend” scores much lower compared to “Weekend Getaway at Yelagiri, near Chennai” or

Travelled in Volvo for first time” vis-a-vis “Bangalore BMTC Volvo City buses-Travel experience

Sweet smell of shirts is a bad title from SEO perspective. Use Perfumed/Scented shirts from Cooptex Chennai.

Similarly, avoid titles like “You should read this book!” instead use:” Book Review: IT happened in India by Kishore Biyani

Highlighting useful information:

You might have written somewhere in text “we had to pay ten thousand rupees for three days holiday at that resort”. But not many people will have the patience to read through entire article to find that information. You need to be more precise with statements like “3D/2N Holiday at Club Mahindra Coorg Resort costs Rs XXXXX” and highlight it prominently.

Not having a proper introduction paragraph:

Most of the readers will decide within few seconds whether they should continue reading or should close the page (i.e. they are likely to get what they want or not). Telling readers in plain English what they can expect in that post and what may not get will be appreciated by them. So I recommend dedicating first para of your post to give prompt introduction of the content-whether it is a joke or serious article, about what have you written, what is your stand that you’re defending in the post etc). Providing in post navigation whenever possible is also recommended.

Using synonyms:

Not all people search using a same word. You need to draft your articles in such a way that it covers different synonyms of keywords you are planning to target.

Example: To know if IBM is acquiring Satyam, keywords used may be ‘IBM satyam takeover’ “Is IBM buying Satyam in 2007?” “Satyam’s acquisition by IBM” “IBM satyam rumor” “IBM looking to purchase Indian companies” etc. While IBM and Satyam are two key words here, using different possible connectors ‘acquisition’, ‘purchase’, ‘takeover’, ‘buy’ throughout the article gets you higher coverage over keywords.

Similarly, if those searching for heart failure related information use ‘cardiac arrest’ ‘chest problem’ ‘heart attack treatment’ etc. The article needs to cover all these possible keywords.

Using deliberate wrong spellings also helps. For example, the correct spelling for Acquisition is Acquisition but many people spell it wrongly as ‘aquisition’. Similarly those searching for MoserBaer may spell it wrongly as Moser Beer, Moser bair, Moserbier etc. If you use correct spelling all over you’ve to compete with lots of websites. With wrong spelling which has high probability of being used as keyword, you get better visibility. (Note: Google offers spell correction and this idea may not succeed in all the cases, unless you hit top 5 in the chart when searched with wrong spelling. Also it is not practical to cover all wrong spelling combination for a given word. Use this suggestion cautiously, Stuffing your article with wrong spelling throughout will degrade the quality of articles.


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shande said...

informative post. btw I have been following this unknowingly :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...


I’ve observed in your blog that you’re following most of these. Good going.

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sarah25 said...
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Anonymous said...

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