There must be hundreds and thousands of people out there working as a part time or full time writer. There’s just so much to write for web, from on site content to press releases, articles for article marketing campaigns, blog posts, guest blogs, tutorials, reviews, and the likes. The demand grows with the addition of each new website in the already sprawling cyber world.

When I first started as a freelance writer, writing for web was a straightforward task, especially for some of my peers, who have made it sound extremely simple by adopting a methodology that was anything but creative writing. They will simply pick one or two articles from the web on the same topic, and simply proceed to rewrite. One article was changed into a dozen articles and the entire “writing an article” job used to take not more than 20 minutes, that was what they considered as “content writing”.

To be brutally honest, I used to frown upon the practice and tried my best to avoid these short cuts even if they were churning out three articles in the time I take in writing just one. That worked for them, worked for their clients, and most importantly, it worked for the clients’ websites, who was I to complain?

And then came the Panda update, and it changed everything, for good.

I’ve no doubts in saying that Panda has pretty much changed the dynamics and requisites of writing for web, and the changes are good for everyone, even for the people working as content writers, because it will help them grow as a writer. Following are the changes that I am talking about.

Unique means your own Thoughts not just Words:

As I said, it was common practice to rewrite an article, check it via some service like copyscape.com and then pass it on as unique if the search doesn’t bring any results, which means, we saw literally the same information with slightly different wording everywhere on the web. In fact, people have stopped bothering about the uniqueness altogether and they were using the same content while just linking to the original source at the end.

Google panda's kick

Google Panda's kick :)

Not anymore, Google has discarded the value of duplicate content altogether. So much, that you can’t even use the same content with minor tweaks, now you’ve got no choice but to do your readers a favor and “think”.

You have to come up with your own thoughts, not just your own words. Get a topic, read about it, make your own mind, and then get down to writing.

Cover the topic instead of just touching it:

Another thing wrong in the early writing procedure was that writing an article meant barely touching the 350 words mark on the topic. In most cases that wasn’t enough to cover a single point, let alone covering the entire topic.

Thankfully, Google Panda has taken care of this practice as well, now the web page covering a topic in detail is preferred over a page where you will find just 10, 12 lines barely touching the topic.

As a web writer, you will have to write extensively and cover each and every topic in detail.

Your readers come first – search engine comes second:

That was something made obligatory by the clients who were so obsessed with the keywords that writers keep getting the instruction to somehow cram they keywords in the articles, by hook or by crook. In fact, some even went to the extent of letting them compromise the quality if needed for the sake of keyword stuffing, and the writers obliged.

End result was a second rate article, so dull that even the writers didn’t like to give a second read. Much to the relief of genuine writers, the trend is fast changing and finally the web publishers are realizing the importance of providing quality content to readers instead of the search engines.

Best Practices After Panda Update:

The following video from SEOmoz helps to understand the best practices of SEO, writing after Google’s Panda Update…don’t miss it.

image:greece