In late August of this year (2013), Google rolled out yet another algorithm update. Some search marketing experts say that it’s the most significant one to be implemented in the last decade or more.
How Many Algorithm Changes Does Google Make Per Year?
FYI, the search giant admits that it makes hundreds of changes to its algorithm per year. Proof? According to the SEO marketing and consulting site, Mox:
Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times. While most of these changes are minor, Google occasionally rolls out a "major" algorithmic update (such as Google Panda and Google Penguin [and Google Hummingbird]) that affects search results in significant ways.
So What Do All These Algorithm Changes Mean for Freelance SEO Writers?
For one thing, more work! But, we’ll get to that in just a bit. First I want to discuss a couple of other things it means.
I. Ongoing Education: One of the frustrations many who enter this profession have is that there’s always something new to learn. I tell many newbies who read my blog that there’s a lot of money to be made as this type of technical writer (eg, the average salary for SEO copywriters as of this writing is $66,000 according to job search site SimplyHired).
But you must constantly stay abreast of the changes because many of them – especially the major ones – really impact how copy should be written.
II. Content Marketing: More than just writing SEO content, freelance web writers in this realm must learn how to write to engage. In today’s social media-ruled world, content marketing is where it’s at. And content marketing is all about engaging customers; giving them the info they need to make informed decisions – NOT writing to sell them something.
And this goes beyond things like keywords, linkbuilding and rich snippets. While these are all important SEO concepts that are necessary to get a page/site to rank higher, the main goal of search engine-optimized content these days ISN’T to rank high or generate traffic.
The real goal of the content you produce for clients is to help them build a community of loyal customers. And you do this by creating engaging, helpful, well-written content. If you do this, it will propel them along he sales cycle.
III. More Work: Finally, Google’s Hummingbird update means more work for freelance SEO writers. And the main reason is -- Google’s changes are forcing webmasters to create better content – content that is properly optimized AND engaging enough to propel a visitor to take action.
Social media and content strategist Jay Baer put it best in the post, How Google is Forcing Your Content to Get Better, writing:
Content that people like, Google will like. Google wants you to figure out what content to make not by obsessing over keywords and data reports, but to answer the questions that you can genuinely answer well, and be authoritative for the topics about which you truly are a good solution.
This takes skill – skill a $5 per article SEO writer likely doesn’t have. Web writers who learn SEO and what goes into creating compelling copy that engages will be able to command ever higher rates.
Are you ready to take the plunge and start this exciting, home-based freelance writing business?
About the Author: Yuwanda Black heads New Media Words, an SEO writing company. She’s also the publisher of SEO Writing Jobs, a blog devoted to helping others start successful, freelance SEO writing careers. She says, “With proper SEO copywriter training, there’s no reason you can’t earn between $35,000 on the low end, on up to $75,000 (or more) – your first year as a freelancer.” Ms. Black has authored over 50 ebooks, most of which cover some aspect of freelance / SEO writing. They can be found on major outlets like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Keywords relevant to this article: seo writing, writing for seo, google hummingbird update, freelance writing, seo writing advice, seo writing tips, seo writing help, seo writing business