Digital marketing

SEO: The work is the reward

- March 28, 2024 3 MIN READ
magnifying glass on a piece of text highlighting the words SEO search engine optimisation. Adobe stock.

 

Google isn’t just a big server farm funnelling queries from around the world back to users. They employ over 16,000 human Search Quality Raters to determine page quality and whether the needs of users are met, explains Tom Valcanis, copywriting expert from I Sell Words.

These raters speak over 80 languages and 4,000 of them are based in the Asia-Pacific region. They will sort pages into types, purpose, intent, and then figure out if the page is deliberately spammy, harmful, or ideally, what a user is looking for when they type in a search query.

“Websites and pages should be created to help people,” Google’s own Search Quality Rater Guidelines state. “If that is not the case, a rating of Lowest may be warranted. As long as the page is created to help people, we will not consider any particular page purpose or type to be higher quality than another. For example, encyclopedia pages are not necessarily higher quality than humour pages.”

The quality of a page, as we’ve mentioned many times before, is whether it satisfies Google’s E-E-A-T rating system:

  • That it reflects the first-hand Experience of the creator,
  • The Expertise that creator has accumulated over time,
  • The Authoritativeness of the creator and the website,
  • And possibly most important, Trust – the extent to which the page is accurate, honest, safe, and reliable.

When it comes to SEO copywriting, it’s easy to dismiss “high E-E-A-T” as a cynical play to game algorithms. Another cog in the Google-Industrial Complex to satisfy a never-ending hunger for content that people won’t even consume – all we want is the top spot on the Search Engine Results Page, after all. What the website says or doesn’t say is irrelevant, right? People are probably searching for “shoes” in between TikTok swipes, correct?

You may be right. If we aren’t proud of our own work, Google will kind of figure it out. If your content is a lazy play for top SERPs, Google will know. They’ll then reward authors who actually put in the hours, conduct their research, and provide accurate and timely answers to pressing questions people may have – especially if it has to do with topics regarding one’s money or their lives.

As a copywriter, I’ve been hired to write a 500-word blog post about a topic. Just one. When done, the content barely scratched the surface of its complexity. How did their SEO do over time? Probably not as well as some bloke who lives and breathes the stuff for fun. I mean, that’s the entire rationale behind Wikipedia.

If we’re a business, can we afford to “beat” the bloke who will pore through dusty books two in the morning and delivers better content just because he’s really, really into that subject?

Can we afford not to?

The urge to throw up words on a page is satisfied within minutes thanks to ChatGPT or its equivalent. Google, like a veteran teacher, can smell laziness and apathy from a mile away. You don’t get an A for effort – you end up on the second page of search results. The teachers’ pet only gets that way because they sacrifice an entire weekend to produce top of the class work – the kids who wag and hand in trash get garbage results; and we shouldn’t be surprised by that.

Like most things in life, hard work is often its own reward. Thinking of SEO as customer service – am I giving your potential viewers what they’re looking for? It can opens a new perspective on an industry that seems to have an ever diminishing reputation, thanks to all the D-grade students spamming your inbox every morning (yep, I get them too!)

Though it may be difficult to break out of the mindset that churning out SEO and re-spinning content is a bit of a drag; think of it as presenting yourself as a retail shop. That your employees are well-dressed, well-spoken, and ready to serve.

Look at your business and think, would I shop here?

Answer that, and everything falls into place.

Now read this

5 ways to drive traffic to your website

 

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  • Andrew Caska

    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

    'Flying Solo opened up so many doors for us - I honestly don't know where I'd be without it"