Is SEO Copywriting Dead? What It May Mean for Many Freelance Web Writers
Every time something new comes out and gets outrageously popular – and people start making money from it – someone comes along to sound the death bell. It’s normal and happens with almost everything – from fashion to electronics, to yes – even online writing. For a few years now, some have been saying that “SEO copywriting is dead.”
As the developer of an SEO content writing course, I received an email from a reader wanting me to explain if this was true. He wrote, in part:
Regarding SEO writing: [Named SEO professional] says SEO copywriting is dead. He proposes [something else] to replace it. In his article on this topic he makes a convincing case. Perhaps you might care to read it and see what you think.
He provided links to a couple of articles, which I did read. Following is my opinion on the death of SEO copy writing. FYI, I own an SEO writing company, so this comes with a healthy dose of first-hand insight.
Why So Many Think SEO Content Writing Is Dead
The number one reason – in my opinion – so many ring the death bell for this form of technical writing is that there’s so much junk polluting the web masquerading as “search engine optimization writing.”
You’ve undoubtedly run across these types of articles, which probably frustrated your search efforts to no end. They’re usually keyword stuffed (to the max); so general in nature that they’re useless; and barely cover a page (eg, 200 words, with the keyword phrase taking up half this word count).
Yes, This Type of SEO Writing Is Dead
And the SEO writing professionals who say SEO is dead are right – THIS type of copy is dead. Search engines like Google don’t want it, and have been taking pains to eradicate it seriously for the last couple of years now.
So in a sense, yes, you could say SEO copywriting – in this form – is dead. But, good SEO web writing is not dead – and it goes by the name of…
Themed SEO Content: The Rebirth of SEO Copywriting Is Reborn
Instead of focusing one specific keyword phrase – and repeating verbatim, ad nauseam in an article, a themed SEO article focuses on a myriad of keyword phrases – in the same article.
Remember, search engines are just machines; they’re robots. They’re not human readers. Hence, they come across (ie, “read”) a block of content with the word “apple” in it, they don’t know if you’re talking about apple pie or apple computers.
So if you’re taking about apple pie for example, it’ll expect the article to contain some phrases like apple pie recipes, how to make an apple pie, etc. It wouldn’t expect to see phrases like iPod, hard drive or iTunes – all computer-related things.
FYI, eradicating keyword-stuffed copy is what Google’s Panda and Penguin updates were about to a large degree, and why they formulated what I called ” Google’s SEO Writing Guidelines,” which was the real birth of themed SEO content, in my opinion.
Why Themed SEO Web Content Is So Valuable
Themed SEO content is so important because it helps search engines accurately discern what a piece of web content is all about — and keeps keyword stuffed content from rising to the top of search engine results.
And Google knows that spammers (who are big users of keyword stuffed content) aren’t going to take the time to do keyword research to come up with secondary and tertiary keyword phrases to use throughout the article. And, they’re not going to take the time to write a 600, 700 or 1,200 word post / piece of web content.
This is why themed content costs more to create – and gets rewarded more by search engines.
And, what does this mean for SEO copywriters – more work – at higher rates, which is a good thing for all online freelance writers.