A few days ago, Google updated its Webmaster Guidelines. Every time Google does this, I always check out the changes, to see if there is anything new which affects my role as a content writer. The section I always take note of is the quality guidelines. This has changed a little lately, so I thought I would give a synopsis of what these quality guidelines mean, from the perspective of a website content author.
1 – Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines – This directive, from a content writer’s point of view, is all about delivering value. People usually use search engines to find information. If a visitor lands on a page that does not have the kind information they are looking for, then they depart, it is as simple as that. So as a content writer, my job is to make sure I write factually rich content, with plenty of valuable information. This means avoiding too much fluff, and trying to be concise.
2 – Don’t deceive your users – We have all seen plenty of sites which make grandiose promises to deliver something, when in reality they are simply a thin veneer over yet another scam. This is extremely common in the Internet Marketing niche. There is not much I can do about this as a content writer, except take the moral stand of not accepting clients who demand this kind of content.
3 – Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging – This directive is a fundamental one for content authors, it means we need to write compelling content, which entertains visitors, as well as delivering the information they are looking for. This is where we actually get to practice the art of writing, where the quality of writing can make a difference, turning boring facts into an engaging read.
4 – Make your website stand out from others in your field – In my opinion, this directive is all about performing good, deep research, and developing unique content themes. This means finding fresh content ideas, or new ways to add value to older concepts.
Sometimes, as writers, we need to take a step back and consider the fact that although website developers may be responsible for how pretty a site looks, it is us, the content writers, who are responsible for how valuable a site is to visitors. The term “content is king” was coined for a reason, and one which is still entirely valid today.
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