If you’re an online writer, especially if you specialize in providing SEO content, you are no doubt aware that Google’s latest algorithm update (Penguin 2.0) went into effect on May 22 (2013). And in my opinion, it brought about some of the most drastic changes as it relates to web writing since search engine optimization writing became so popular (and necessary).
If you freelance and haven’t “Penguin-proofed” your online writing samples, following are three reasons to do so.
I) It Lets Clients Know That You Know Your Stuff
Your writing samples illustrate not only your ability(ies) with the written word, but your knowledge of how to write search engine-optimized copy. So if you’re still sending out samples that contain an overuse of a certain keyword phrase, for example, then potential clients might deduce that your knowledge base is out of date.
II) It Forces You to Stay Up to Date on What’s New in Search
As an SEO writer, it’s critical that you stay up to date on what major search engines, particularly Google, are doing. It’s part of being a PROFESSIONAL web content provider. Your clients depend on you for it.
Recommended for YouWebcast: A Week in the Life of an Agile Creative Team
Part of the reason you should update your writing samples is that it will force you to check Google’s algorithm changes regularly.
One of the most common complaints I hear from aspiring freelance web writers is that SEO is “hard” because Google is always changing its guidelines. While it can be frustrating to stay on top of what “The Big G” is doing, it’s not hard. And once you learn the foundational rules of the game, writing for SEO is really kinda simple in my opinion.
Google doesn’t want you gaming the system, so they change things up to stay ahead of spammers and those who use blackhat tactics. But the basics remain the same, ie, produce quality, usable content that others want to share – all the while adhering to some basic rules like doing keyword research to help you write content that can be easily found and indexed by search engines.
III) It Keeps Your Writing Portfolio Fresh
You can rewrite existing samples to bring them into compliance with current SEO guidelines, or you can create new ones, which many freelancers do. This keeps your samples fresh and up to date.
A side benefit of this is, as time goes on and you gain more experience, it also illustrates the breadth and depth of your writing ability.
Have You Updated Your SEO Writing Samples?
If not, now is as good a time as any to do so and here are the 6 things you need to do to Penguin-proof your SEO writing samples.
What more would you add?