SEO Copywriting – How Google’s Algorithim Updates Changed SEO Copywriting Forever

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Ever since I’ve been online (as far back as 1997) I was taught to insert keywords whereever possible in your content. This included placing keyword phrases one or more times in titles, subtitles, file names, tags, links, etc. This was the common way of thinking for a decade or longer. As a result your content received high rankings rather quickly.

Why the old method of SEO copywriting no longer works

Over the last few years Google has made significant changes in how it ranks websites. There are at least 200 ranking factors that I know of as shown in The Periodic Table Of Success Factors however there are many more ranking factors that Google keeps secret.

Here are the 3 largest algorithim updates which affected search engine copywriting forever:

Panda Update

This algorithm update focused on weeding out low quality content. For instance many marketers were using content spinning software to generate 1000s of similar articles as the original and submitting them to article directories. As a result the search engines got clogged up with duplicate content which had no originality and offered little or no value.

Article directories and e-commerce sites which used manufacturer-provided content took huge hits (especially, while others scrambled to make sure their content met Google’s new standards.

Penguin Update

Google launched the Penguin Update in April 2012 to catch sites spamming its search results especially those involved in buying links or obtaining them through link networks in order to boost their Google rankings. The update also focused on the quality of backlinks. For instance if you used the same anchor text multiple times in your content you could be penalized for using manipulative techniques to achieve high rankings.

The main goal of the Panda and Penguin updates was to only display higher quality websites at the top of Google’s search results.

Hummingbird Update

The goal of this new search algorithm update is to return better results for people searching for information using the Google search engine. Hummingbird focuses on conversational searches. It does a better job of recognizing and understanding how spoken search queries and typed search queries could mean the same things.

If you have the latest version of Chrome, you can click on the microphone in the search box to speak your search and it will speak the answer back to you (similar to the Siri app on the iPhone or Google’s search app).

Google has said that Hummingbird gives more attention to each word in a query, making sure that the whole sentence or conversation or meaning is taken into account, rather than specific words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.

FAQ: All About The New Google “Hummingbird” Algorithm
Why Google’s New Hummingbird Algorithm is Good News for Serious Content Creators

Google is no longer interested in blindly matching keyword for keyword but wants to better understand what the searcher trying to achieve, so they can deliver the most accurate results.

Whether you’re just starting to create copy for your website, or editing existing content on an old website, here are some suggestions:


  • Shoving keywords into every place possible.
  • Trying hard to optimize the page. (Google doesn’t need that much help anymore.
  • Focusing on formulas and keyword densities on the page
  • Optimizing for one or two keyword phrases


  • Using exact-match keyphrases sparingly.
  • Using individual keywords.
  • Writing naturally with a sprinkling of keywords.
  • Placing keyphrases and keywords where they make sense, not where you think the search engine wants them to go.
  • Incorporating synonyms in addition to your chosen keyword phrases.

If you make these simple adjustments to your copy, you will quickly get up to date with Google’s three-year campaign to improve search quality.

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It will take you through the exact steps you need to write copy that ranks high on Google and causes visitors to take the action you want them to take.

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