Are you writing for robots or people?  That seems to be the question of search engines today, as Google and Bing (which powers Yahoo Search) attempt to reward quality sites (with magazine style articles) and penalize sites that have poor content, presumably written for robots.  The robots we refer to are search crawler applications that are programmed to notice popular keywords, keyword density and new web content.

In years passed, the algorithms of Google and Yahoo were not that complex and rewarded sites for ambitious planning – as in multiple keywords, tags and page titles.  Now, with multi-million dollar budgets, Google and other search sites are putting more elaborate thought into their algorithm updates and are building their search software to take a more human approach to filtering out low quality sites that, presumably, a human wouldn’t even read.

So, when you are planning an SEO campaign for your small business, take into account who you are speaking to.  Don’t write anything for robots.  These search bots can automatically sense what is grammatically correct, what is efficiently communicated and what is informative to a living audience.  Beyond that, remember that the major search engines still employ a human staff to accomplish editorial tasks that robots presumably cannot do.

When trying to communicate with a human audience ask yourself, “what is my audience thinking right now?”  Most online visitors are thinking “Tell me something I don’t know!”  They go into a search with a fairly broad knowledge of their favorite keyword topic.  For you to present only the most basic subject matter will be an insult to this web viewer’s intelligence!

Another common complaint: don’t try to sell a company or even an idea until you teach the audience something relevant an enlightening.  These are not only the fundamentals of sales, they are also fundamentals of human communication!  The moment a website starts to focus on winning human viewers rather than search engines is the same moment they notice an improvement in search engine success.