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What Google’s Inability to Interpret Poetry Means for Your Law Firm’s Blog

Natural language processing (NLP) bots are adept at remixing human speech into utterances that are grammatical enough to be understandable, but their efforts to make sense of human emotions range from laughable to terrifying. Barry Schwartz recently posted a dispatch on the SEO Roundtable website about Google’s inability to rank sites accurately for search queries that require the search engine to interpret poems. In other words, Google knows which words are in the poem, but it does not know why they are there. If you ask Google to find a poem about nostalgia, for example, it will miss the most relevant pages, because most poems about nostalgia do not include the word “nostalgia.” In other words, Google is not very good at making inferences, although it is always striving to develop this and other skills related to understanding human language. When it comes to composing legal blog content, you need to meet Google where it is and write posts that search engines can understand, but it does not mean that there is no room for your poetic flair on your law firm’s blog.

State the Obvious for Google, but Show Your Human Side to Your Human Readers

Google reads web pages at lightning speed to find out whether they contain the search query and phrases that it knows to be related to the search query. Therefore, showing Google that your blog post addresses the user’s question appears to be straightforward; all you have to do to convince Google that your blog post is about uncontested divorce in Alabama is to include the phrase “uncontested divorce in Alabama” somewhere in the content, preferably in a prominent location such as a title or subheading. Once is enough; Google’s bots have been around the block enough times to recognize keyword stuffing when they see it.

Human appeal also counts for search engine optimization (SEO). Google might not appreciate the wit in your blog posts, but it can tell when readers appreciate it. In other words, Google takes note of how users respond to your content. Time on page shows Google the frequency with which readers keep reading your content all the way to the end. It also takes note of user behaviors such as shares, backlinks (when someone else links to your site) and repeat visits by the same user. Meanwhile, Google has some ability to understand what makes your content readable; it might not know that your content is enjoyable, but it knows that you are not alienating readers after Google directs them to your site. For example, it appreciates grammatically correct sentence structure, sentences and paragraphs of manageable length, and formatting that does not require fancy finger work on the user’s part in order to read entire sentences.

It Takes More Than SEO to Write a Good Blog Post

The professional legal content writers at Law Blog Writers will compose blog content with appeal that search engines can understand, as well as appeal that goes over their algorithmic heads.


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