The influence of search has taken over society in subtle ways. Some of these subtle changes are positive. On the positive side, some of the writing might be a little clearer and a little more focused.
But changing your writing to be optimized for being found by search engines leads to some silly seeming writing practices.
The use and reuse of key phrases of text in the body of an article supposedly helps your content be found. Linking to internal and external resources are also practices that supposedly help.
Making sure that your post is at least 300 words long is another indicator. If you start writing under the influence of search, the writing can start to feel very formulaic.
Reiteration is a good thing…even in short pieces, but the reiteration almost has to be written with the exact same terms as the key phrase to be picked up under the influence of search. See what I did there?
The influence of search has definitely changed how I write these posts. Is writing better? Does it convey more information?
Hardly. About the only thing that is better about this style of writing is that it is focused. Focus seems great on the surface. Fewer irrelevant tangents. But the downside is that fewer connections outside the main can really be strung together.
Writing is always evolving, so it makes sense that it will evolve in a way that pleases the machines that read everything. But pleasing the machines is a little different than pleasing the humans that read this content.
This post started with the purpose of trying to understand the consequences of writing when search engines are your intended audience. But I focused on the influence of search and my writing style has completely changed in order to confirm with the rules of writing for search engines.