The Risks of Bland Copy


Way back in 2011, Google changed up the game by updating its search algorithm. Where microsite millionaires had once dominated search results by creating low-effort template sites for specific keywords, the new algorithm rewarded “quality content”—giving even small sites a fair shot at rising in the rankings.

And Google didn’t stop there—it’s continually changing its algorithms. Each time Google releases a new update, it becomes harder to game the system through search engine optimization. Innovations like semantic search champion quality writing and highly shared content. At this point, we can assume that future updates will continue to push marketers and brands to produce even better and more relevant content.

What are these trends pointing to? The fact that the most-trafficked sites will be the best-written, most helpful sites. And there’s no sign that Google’s changing direction on this front. Captivating, relevant, and shareable website copy will continue to factor into search engine algorithms: marketers and writers should be playing with the endgame in mind.

How’s your writing doing these days?

Let’s be honest. We all know at least one brand or two that still relies on farmed overseas content. They continue to pay for a constant trickle of “affordable” content that doesn’t work for their brand because they don’t have content optimization in mind—just SEO. And that’s when bland writing becomes permanent. That blandness turns away visitors, quality leads, and even returning customers. It’s adopted by everyone you hire. Worst of all, it stifles growth and eventually trickles into every aspect of the brand’s identity.

Obviously, bland is bad. Everyone knows that. But unless your web copy reflects that aversion to cookie-cutter content, you aren’t doing your brand justice.

The irony is that creating content just for SEO isn’t really best-practice for SEO. Having a blog and keeping it regularly updated isn’t enough. You need to also care about quality. And that starts with great, human writing.

Han Gwon Lung

Han Gwon Lung

Once premed, Han got as far as the MCATs before he realized he had wanted to be a writer all along. Now he uses his scientific background to distill impossibly dense jargon into simple copy that sounds like it was written by humans. A Queens native, Han buys too many Steam games and doesn’t go to Planet Fitness with his girlfriend nearly as much as he should.

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