My Googlized Writing Style

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

[ en | de ]


  • 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: ????-??-??

  1. by using the option of the search con­sole to hand over a URL man­u­al­ly. []
  2. 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. []
  3. 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 []
  4. If you short­en the result­ing slug of your page, use at least speak­ing syn­tagms in your URL. []
  5. Don’t rely only on your updat­ed sitmap. []
  6. If you don’t believe that, you may delib­er­ate­ly ‘tor­ture’ your­self through this inten­tion­al­ly pas­si­vat­ed para­graph []
  7. 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 []
  8. which — in this case — is equiv­a­lent to: in the first 6 para­graphs []
  9. 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.” []
  10. “17% of the sen­tences con­tain pas­sive voice” []
  11. “1 of the para­graphs con­tains more than the rec­om­mend­ed max­i­mum of 150 words.” []
  12. “31.9% of the sen­tences con­tain more than 20 words, which is more than the rec­om­mend­ed max­i­mum of 25%” []
  13. 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. []
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