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Web copywriting matters now. Website owners and webmasters are forced to acknowledge that the quality of their copy plays a significant part in the success of their content marketing campaigns. But things weren’t always the same. To better understand how we got here, check the web copywriting infographic below, which shows the history of web copywriting on fast forward, including all the landmark moments that took place in past 15 years since web copywriting has been around.
During the first years of the Web, website owners and internet marketers didn’t care about web content. Duplicate, low quality content was ranked well anyway. All you needed was the right key term. Readers weren’t exactly thrilled, but it was everywhere when they googled it.
We had to take some steps into the new millennium to see a change. Thus, in the fall of 2003, the SEO industry was hit on the head by the first algorithm change. It showed webmasters that they didn’t have all the cards. Florida—̶this was the name of Google’s first amendment to SEO law̶—exposed keyword stuffing and obsolete, spammy, 90s SEO maneuvers. Rankings dropped heavily. Thus, the SEO expert became a necessary evil.
The next hit orchestrated by search engines, led by Google, came out under the name of “No Follow,” and it aimed to undermine the weeds threatening to take over the web lawn. Spammy content was cleaned, and for the first time websites suspected of link schemes were sanctioned or went straight down.
“Jagger” and “Big Daddy” hit the stage. These updates launched by Google hunted down and de-ranked websites engaging in link manipulation and other doubtful web practices.
Google introduced “Suggest,” a function that allows you to get a long SERP list when you type your keyword in the search bar. From that moment on, copywriters could use long tail keywords to optimize content.
Another big step in Google’s endeavor of cleaning up the web yard was something that did not have a name, but prefigured the Panda move.
Google Panda 1.0 charged in, and both website owners and web masters got an epic kick. Bad content lost ranks, and traffic value plummeted. And with this, lots of money evaporated. The echoes are still felt by many, as only a small percent of sites managed to get back on their feet after the Panda hug. Google Panda shifted the common approach on web content. For good. It became clear, for the first time, that if you wanted your web writing to work, you needed to move from focusing exclusively on keywords to creating readable content.
Panda went overseas, showing the whole world that although he was this cuddly thing that you took to bed with you, he could be merciless when it came to bad content.
Google Panda was updated 9 times. Each of its new versions was more adamant than the previous one. Spammy, duplicate, and low quality content was uncovered, and sites were thrown down.
This is when Penguin 1.1 stepped in. 1% of search results felt the pain. Content length seems to matter, as it gets superior rankings.
From now on, copyright protection is no longer overlooked. Google enforced the DMCA Penalty. Violating content copyright will determine Google to erase you from its search engine results. Also, this allows copywriters to defend their rights by exposing copyright infringements.
The second generation of Penguin, Penguin 2.0, had a mild impact. It made blogging and social media networking imperative. However, your posts shouldn’t revolve exclusively around keywords. Don’t forget they are meant to be read and shared on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
To matter, web copywriting needs to be valuable for your readers. Remember:
- Keywords on their own won’t increase your readership. Instead, quality content will.
- Be consistent in your blogging. High ranking is the result of quality of blog posts, not their number.
- A good writer is an asset because (s)he will know how to reach your audience.
- Originality is a basic and indispensable condition.
- Use press releases to show you’re there.
- Re-write outdated content and reiterate your SEO keyword analysis.
- Fresh and solid content is mandatory.