A Tongue-in-Cheek Look at Keywords
Our Collective Obsession with Keywords
I know, I know. Keywords are important. There are so many wonderful writers here at InfoBarrel who know all about SEO and the importance of keyword phrases (long tail, short tail and everything in between.
I just wonder, post Panda, if perhaps we should be focusing on other things? If Google (and perhaps other search engines) are starting to frown upon excessive use of the things, then maybe we should rethink our use of them. I think readers (and perhaps search engines as well) are seeking articles that read well, that have a natural flow, and that do not appear to be "stuffed" to the brim with certain, glaring words, phrases and expressions.
As online writers, our main goal is to produce articles that people will like to read. After all, if a reader enjoys your work, chances are he will read more of it, and maybe even recommend it to some of his friends. Trying to create an article that revolves around a certain expression or phrase can cause your writing to feel stilted and unnatural. It can also suck some of the fun out of writing. Sure, it can be interesting seeing just how many variations of a certain phrase you can cram into a single 500 word article. But it can also feel a little forced and silly.
Let's just say that I think there is room for all kinds of articles in this vast, wide world of online writing. SEO writing is a fascinating field, but it is not the only kind of writing we should be doing online. As writers (who happen to specialize in writing online content), we should constantly be challenging ourselves and mixing things up.
You also don't want to lose whatever it was that caused you to fall in love with writing in the first place. I am pretty sure that when you were a kid playing around with words and trying to shape your first coherent sentences, you were not in the least concerned with SEO (or any other types of Internet marketing strategies for that matter). When you first fell in love with writing it was because you discovered that you could express your thoughts more clearly when you wrote them down. Your writing helped you to clarify your thinking, and vice versa, and that was a beautiful discovery.
If you feel compelled to focus on Internet Marketing strategies in much of your writing, try not to let the other kinds of writing that you enjoy slide away completely. If you started out as a poet or as a short story writer, write a poem every now and then, or perhaps a short story. In other words, no matter how far you get in the world of Search Engine Optimized writing, never stop revisiting the kind of writing that compelled you to become a writer in the first place.