The Non-Writer's Guide to Writing for Search Engines

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In my companion article, The Non-Writer’s Guide to Writing for the Web, I gave you guidelines for creating effective website copy.

Humans aren’t the only audience you’re writing for. Search engines send out automated programs that crawl the web, searching for content to add to its database. What they find helps determine how well you rank in the search results.

There was a day when writing for the search engines meant sacrificing your readers on the altar of better search results. Sadly, many people still adhere to practices that are both unnecessary and detrimental.

That said, there are legitimate techniques that can improve your article or web page’s ranking.

We’re going to discuss familiar search engine optimization (SEO) concepts like titles, headings and descriptions. The only semi-technical term I’ll use is “keyword,” which are the words and phrases that best describe what your site is about.

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Thanks for the discussion, and especially the WordPress focus.

Question: While you mention not using keywords more than 2-3 times, are there search engine penalties for a larger word count of say 6-9 times for a keyword use? To be clear, I am speaking of a illegitimate, albeit longer article where the keyword(s) may legitimately show up in the content vs. deliberate keyword stuffing. Where does Google draw the line and consider something as stuffing?


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