I just read an exceptionally well-written article about Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, on the New York Times website.
The article discusses how websites achieve high ranking on search engines, and how this may be affected via paid ads. It also examines ‘black hat’ or unscrupulous techniques to increase a web site’s rank.
As a website owner at airbornesound.com I have SEO in mind when writing articles and posting sounds. However, I do not spend so much effort on it that the content feels artificial.
An example of artificial writing would be an article where every second sentence mentions valuable keywords such as ‘sound effects’ or ‘download’. A good amount of these keywords on a page would in theory result with a high ranking on google.com. But an inordinate amount of keywords is referred to as ‘keyword stacking’ and results in being ranked lower on Google’s search results instead. In addition to this, stuffing a page with too many valuable keywords will result with stilted and cumbersome writing no one wants to read.
Much has been written about gaming Google’s search results. In the end I find it is best to write naturally about your subject. The keywords will inherently slide themselves into your copy.
I would recommend the article to developers and anyone who uses search engines. It’s not technical, and is quite well done.