Google wins again. First, it told us to write blog posts every day, or almost every day. And to optimize each one for a single keyword. That created the most godawful avalanche of mindless blabber in the history of humankind. 2.7 million blog posts per day is the metric that gets tossed around. And about 99.8% of it useless. A new term was coined: “search spam”.
It spilled over into social media too, where the common strategy is to pump barely valuable content through a efficient production process, relying on offshore or 20-something labor.
This trend continues to this day, just because so many people are unaware that Google no longer rewards frequent posting of short-form blog posts. The content mills and freelance platforms are full of wantrapreuners soliciting 500-word blog posts from writers barely literate in the English language.
In 2012 and again in 2014, Google released updates that essentially pivoted the entire algorithm. The 2014 update is considered the most significant change to the way Google evaluates content worth since the search engine launched in 1998. The idea was to kill search spam.
The solution? Long-form content. The “reverse-engineering” studies are in and they all say the same thing: write long (2000 word or more) content items that are multi-keyword optimized, rather than single-keyword optimized. Write content that spans a 5 to 25 related keywords.
Which is great. It does result in better content overall. It’s not easy to write beyond a few hundred words and mask semi-literacy.
But I still find it too prescriptive. And while most of my article do number between 1500 and 300 words, I’m going to stop this one right there, at about 300 (not that I’m counting).
Because much as I appreciate Google’s efforts to improve its product by eliminating content fluff, in the form of short form blog posts, you and I should never write longer than we need to.
What say you?
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