Writing for humans and robots

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One of the fundamental bits of SEO advice I give most people when talking to them is explaining the difference between the two audiences you are writing for; humans and robots (computers).

When you write some content on the web it should be safe to assume that a human will be on the other end reading it.  On the other hand, your content will most certainly also be read and more importantly parsed by a robot (or bot).    One of the very simple SEO tactics you can use is to think of both audiences when writing and linking within content.

For example the following text and links work very well for any person reading the words and making assumptions on what is behind the links.

The movie Finding Nemo was great, you can read a review here.

However the way to write for both humans and robots is to make the link, or anchor text, the important words you want to describe.

The movie Finding Nemo was great, you can read the Finding Nemo movie review at Rotten Tomatoes

I even went so far as to link the movie title, and named the place giving the review.

The point is that although humans can understand and decipher the first example, engines (robots) cannot.

By supplying the proper anchor text in your documents, blog posts, and collateral you are better influencing where and what gets indexed.

To figure out if you are doing it right use the following steps;

1. Do I understand where the link ends up?
2. Would a search engine understand where the link ends up by the word? (anchor text)
3. Are people going to search my site or a search engine for the anchor text linked?

Asking yourself these three questions can help you create text that is more usable for first time visitors, more clear to your customers, and rank your site for specific terms for people looking for more information.

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