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Write like you would for people

‘Keyword stuffing’ is normally defined as repeating the same words in an attempt to tell search engines that this is really, really what a web page is about. I’m sure nobody thinks this still works in 2023, and indeed, the message has probably got through to most people by now that it’s genuinely counterproductive.

However, if you’ve ever been advised to write the same thing in many different ways, just for search engine optimisation reasons, that can be just as bad. Google knows what’s well-intentioned content aimed at people, and what’s been mangled to supposedly appeal to machines.

A Google representative recently wrote: “People also shouldn’t be paranoid that if they use a term # times then they’ve tipped over into keyword stuffing. It doesn’t really work that way. Instead, it just tends to be not helpful writing. ‘Welcome to our article about THIS THING. Many people wonder if THIS THING is the best of THIS THING. We’re here to explain why THIS THING is indeed the best of THIS THINGS you could get.’

“…That’s just not how people typically write and explain things. That’s repetition more likely because something thinks ‘I need to say this in full often so that Google really gets it.’ No, we don’t need things that often. We have pretty good ways to analyse language and understand meaning and concepts. The best way to align with that is just write like you would for people.”

The problem with the increased sophistication of search engines is that the ‘fixes’ open to SEO consultants have become correspondingly harder. Many will still offer easy ones that don’t work any more. Avoid them.