An interesting article on the Guardian’s website today. Aida Edemariam looks at the issue of search on the internet and how this influences online writing in contrast to offline articles.
This, of course, links in to how content for the web must be structured differently in general. Unfortunately, she thinks it makes ‘depressing reading’, interpreting it as meaning that ‘long, thoughtful, investigative pieces don’t work [on the web]’.
‘Write great content’
She quotes Paul Roach, the Guardian’s head of SEO, who says that for successful search results, ‘you just have to write great content’. Good advice. She then refers to the following advice from Jakob Nielsen:
“Stick to simple presentation formats in all ways: a logical progression of the story, mainly active sentences, simple words, short sentences, and a plain, scrolling page. Also, keep people looking down the page by scattering attractive elements throughout the page in the form of subheads and bulleted lists.”
Edemariam concludes that: ‘Short pieces work. Lists work even better. Long, thoughtful, …