If you’ve ever wondered how some website that looks like it was an early draft from the proverbial infinite number of monkeys on infinite keyboards managed to get to the top of a search result page instead of something you actually want to read (or something you’ve written), you’ve been victimized by the dark art of search engine optimization (SEO). In the never-ending battle for the top of the Google search results page, and for advertising click-throughs, marketers and bloggers enlist an ever-changing bag of tricks to game search engine algorithms, often with the help of SEO consultants and a collection of tools that track the best tactics of the moment.
I recently got an advance look at the latest version of a tool that helps bring SEO to the masses. InboundWriter, a web-based software-as-a-service offering, coaches bloggers and other writers for the web on how to tweak their content based on best practices tuned to the user’s site strategy. The latest version, due out next week, adds a feature that tracks topics on Twitter to find similar material—giving bloggers potential new sources, and marketers an eye on their competition.
Whether giving the masses the power of SEO is a good thing or not is another question entirely—while InboundWriter can optimize pages for search, following its advice to the letter doesn’t make you a better writer (though the new Twitter research tool certainly can make you a better-informed one). But like the honey badger, Google doesn’t care if you’re no Raymond Carver. To get a feel for what SEO experts think determines a “high-quality” page from the standpoint of a search engine, I used InboundWriter to search-optimize this story. I’ll let you be the judge of the outcome; InboundWriter gave it a score of 99 out of a possible 100.
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I am SEO and so can you: tool helps tweak content for search, Twitter