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Thursday, 10 October 2013

Is SEO dead? – A new look at Content writing.

Last night I had a dream – in it I was working for an IT company as a Content Writer, and was severely admonished for leaving work before the CEO, who just happened to be a self-made and self-proclaimed SEO expert. After the dream, and when I arose from my comfortable bed, I got to thinking – most so-called SEO experts probably have their own fixed idea of what a content writer is, namely a writer (often an Intern) with limited experience, but one who can turn out a pretty turn of phrase in exactly the way the SEO wants it. In addition it is interspersed with the right percentage of keywords and so on. I’m sure that is the way that they look at me.

However, what they do not know is that in my case I wrote my first program (remember Fortran?) when most of these upstarts were still in diapers – and in some cases before they were even a twinkling thought in their parents’ heads. Even before attending that long-ago Computer Studies course at the North London Polytechnic, I was flying around the sky with some of the then most sophisticated and highly secret analogue computer equipment available. Before the Internet caught on and during a brief sojourn to the Middle East, I designed a database for all air traffic passing through the region. A few years later was in charge of three computer networks comprising no less than 70 or 80 PCs, and I remember the excitement when the networks first went ‘live’ on the Internet. I am not bragging, but merely trying to put everything into perspective.

What I am trying to get across is that Content Writers are not necessarily interns straight out of college. Many of us are widely traveled and have had a great deal of experience of worldly affairs. I personally have traveled through or to every continent, have had well in excess of 6,000 articles published on the Internet, and have six of my own websites. Of course SEO is not yet dead – just dying maybe. It is no secret that, as search engines introduce new algorithms they prefer more and more good content that is well written, free of spelling and grammatical errors, valid and to the point.

I am enjoying my last few months in South Africa before relocating to the colder climes of New England. South African SEOs in particular should start examining the content they have used in their websites in the past. There is nothing worse than coming across a website in which the content is badly written. South Africa, with its eleven official languages, is particularly prone to this. In many cases the content is exacerbated where the webmaster or SEO, wishing to save a few dollars, has outsourced content to countries such as India, Pakistan, the Philippines and China. Get your act together guys – let’s start seeing some high-quality content – you’ll find it pays in the long run.