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The 3 R’s of Writing SEO Content Post-Panda and Penguin


You already know when and how to use your keywords. You already know not to use duplicate content to spam the search engines’ systems. You already know how to use a well-place link.

But ever since Google’s introduction of Panda and Penguin, many SEO marketing companies have simply been throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the wall to see what sticks, and using the same tired old methods without looking at what actually worked and what didn’t.

Contrary to a lot of folks’ belief, getting past Panda and Penguin’s ever-changing, hard-to-predict standards to hit first-page placement can definitely be done, but it will require changing up old tactics, and most likely, continuing to change them again and again while you’re constantly researching and reevaluating.

Links and Keywords

This will involve a lot of minutiae on the specifics of links and keywords (though, in general, the key is to use less of each than many SEO marketing companies were), which one blog post can’t get too into without driving all my readership away as soon as they see how long it will take to read.

Instead, I’d like to talk about what I’m calling “the three R’s of SEO content writing,” which are general guidelines to follow each time you sit down to write. Page ranking are more difficult post-Panda and Penguin, yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Your SEO Content Should Be

  • Researched
  • Regionalized
  • Readable

Let’s go through in detail these one-by-one.


In the past, it was more acceptable to hammer out a page of SEO content in a matter of minutes that generalizes and simplifies its information down, so that you can read the whole thing and sometimes not even realize that you learned nothing at all. Panda and Penguin are looking to bump up content that has some real meat to its bones, and taking some time out to research your subject or audience before you start writing could make a world of difference. For example, if I’m writing a page of content for a Catholic private school, I may want to research the sorts of demographics who are searching for and enrolling their children in Catholic schools, so that I can tailor my piece specifically to their interests and areas.


This really goes hand-in-hand with the former step. If I’m going to write a page on payday loans in the San Francisco Bay Area, you better believe I’ll have a Wikipedia page on the region open at all times. Remember, Panda and Penguin are looking for original, totally unique content, and plugging in specific information about the region you’re writing about will go miles in getting indexed. (You may be noticing a trend already: The word “specific” is the name of the game since Google’s updates.)


Here’s the most important part, and it encompasses the past two principles as well. Gone are the days when you’re writing keyword-stuffed content for search-engine robots to simply spit out onto the front page. To get past Panda and Penguin, you should now consider yourself as writing directly to the consumer. Keywords and links are still important factors, sure, but most of all, you want your content to be easily readable and packed with actual information and style. Get your grammar in check, think of an attention-grabbing first line and pretend like your writing an actual newspaper article — make that content legitimately readable, and you have a better shot at getting on the first couple of pages.

SEO: Panda And Penguin

Since Penguin and Panda, even with these guidelines, writing successful SEO can still be a crapshoot. But the main difference is that now, more than ever, it’s time to focus more on real quality work, rather than the massive amounts of quantity that were so successful in the past. It’s the fast-paced Internet age — hanging onto old ideas just won’t fly anymore. Put some time and effort into it, and you’ll be sitting high on Google’s page rankings in no time.