Last time it wasn’t hard anymore: Within two days my post about my ‘reset’ because of lacking an ‘inner linking’ and about the ‘right way to be crawled and indexed’ had been processed by Google. Like my revised posts, I had designed it in accordance with the recommendations of YOAST that take into account Google’s ‘unspoken’ specifications — as proclaimed by YOAST. However, by following these rules, I had also given in to the stylistic superiority of Google and YOAST:
To clarify the consequences of their force, let me first summarize the eleven commandments that I had taken from YOAST and with the implementation of which I have so far always been able to get green YOAST ‘traffic’-lights — one for “SEO” and one for readability. Just for the sake of completeness, let me second note that I could successfully apply for indexing at Google for the pages prepared accordingly.1
- Define a key phrase that reflects the subject2 of your page.3
- Just as defined, put that key phrase at the beginning of your page title.4
- Just as defined, integrate that key phrase somewhere into the first paragraph of your page, too.
- Include that key phrase in the meta description of your page, which must have at least 120 and no more than 156 characters
- Link your post to other pages on your blog about the respective topic.
- Link your post to external pages about that topic.
- Write only a few sentences with more than 25 words.
- Link your (short) (main) sentences by (logical) conjunctions.
- Do not let your paragraphs ‘swell’ over 150 words, or at least stay under 200.
- Use only a few passive constructions, and make active statements.
- Explicitly request Google to index your new page in the Search Console.5
One thing in advance: If you already think that this post does not follow these rules, let me tell you: Yes, it doesn’t. Intentionally. Let us test by this article what happens if we don’t submit our posts to the unifying dictates of Google and YOAST.
The result of these ‘recommendations’ is a different writing style than you and I (occasionally) prefer. It’s known that passive sentence constructions are more difficult to understand and thus require more reading work.6 And it’s known, that our reading life is made easier by short sentences. If we are forced by search engines to write this way, they are doing our readers some good. Even if we are ‘gently’ moved away from the academic writing style via the threat that our texts will not be indexed.
Hence, this does not annoy me. The thing with the key phrase, however, does. Because it prevents me from arousing a desire to read the following article by a merely suggestive title, and from letting concrete meaning and context of the headline grow out of the first sentences. Free associations — that’s what I like to work with. Actually. But I can’t, if I want to obey the commandments. An example: In my first run, I had titled my article ‘Clouds and Lists — 2 on 1 Stroke’ as ‘2 in 1 Stroke’ by which I hoped to open a little associative space linking my post to the fairy tale brave little tailor.7 ‘2 in 1 Stroke’ — that is an elegant title. Prefixing it with the key phrase ‘Clouds and Lists’ takes the point out of the title and makes it unwieldy. Additionally, repeating the key phrase in the first paragraph turns us into pushy babblers — just to get our green YOAST traffic lights and become part of the Google index.
A good example — from a SEO point of view — is the page https://wolf-of-seo.de/was-ist/fokus-keyphrase/. Here, the key phrase focus keyword is placed at the beginning of the title and immediately repeated in the first, very short paragraph — together with its twin focus key phrase. And in the first six sentences8, these phrases occur more than 10 times. The ‘wolf of seo’ should not have any problems getting his page indexed. And even more: the content of his article is very informative! Only stylistically — stylistically it is grotty. If you read the post slowly, you will surely notice its redundant verbiage. The annoying thing about the dictates of good SEOcity is that we obviously have to write like this if we want to be indexed. Because only what is indexed can be found and ranked at all.
If you’ve read the wolf-of-seo’s article slowly, read my article in the same way. And you will notice that it is even more grotty than his! Because I have intentionally violated the above commandments:
- My key phrase ‘styleXpolice’ does not appear in the title, in the first paragraph, or anywhere else, hence not even in the slug.9
- I’ve included a ‘meta description’ that is intentionally too short and misses the topic.
- This post uses links to external sites, but internal links to other pages on my site.
- My text uses too many passive constructions10, has one too-long paragraph11, and uses too long sentences12.
Because of these deviations from the rules, I got an orange YOAST traffic light for this post in terms of SEO and a red one in terms of readability.
Thus, we can now test, how long Google takes to index this article.13 As soon as it has been indexed, I will let you know. But you can also try it by yourself. Just ‘google’ for ‘SEOcity’. This word exists as a noun (so far) only in this article.
- Sitemap updated: 2023-08-27 / evaluated: 2023-08-27 (maybe earlier than updated)
- Post found: ????-??-?? / crawled: ????-??-?? / indexed: ????-??-??
- Indexing manually ordered: ????-??-??
- Post found: ????-??-?? / crawled: ????-??-?? / indexed: ????-??-??
- by using the option of the search console to hand over a URL manually.
- The wolf of seo says that the keyword phrase should not capture what your post is about, but what your post is perfect for. But if you apply the rules 2 and 3, the difference between these viewpoints shrinks considerably.
- Keep in mind: Use only 2 words, at most 3. Because in that form, the key phrase must be placed at the beginning of the title and integrated into the body text. Do not trust YOAST to be able to understand syntactic variants — even if it promises to do so
- If you shorten the resulting slug of your page, use at least speaking syntagms in your URL.
- Don’t rely only on your updated sitmap.
- If you don’t believe that, you may deliberately ‘torture’ yourself through this intentionally passivated paragraph
- Unfortunately — after having read story again in its entirety — it makes me a little uncomfortable myself. It is already a bad dazzler, that brave little tailor, not only a sly one. So, the story does not open an associative space into which I would like to blow myself
- which — in this case — is equivalent to: in the first 6 paragraphs
- Inside of the post, I can not write this word as I’ve really used it (without an X), because otherwise, YOAST says “The keyphrase was found 1 time. That’s less than the recommended minimum of 5 times for a text of this length.”
- “17% of the sentences contain passive voice”
- “1 of the paragraphs contains more than the recommended maximum of 150 words.”
- “31.9% of the sentences contain more than 20 words, which is more than the recommended maximum of 25%”
- In order not to compare pears with apples, I will first inform Google about this new post only by an update of my sitemap. Some months later, I will also request Google manually to index this post.