Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, answers a question about content writing in his latest Webmaster Help video where a user writes in to ask:
Should I write content that is easier to read or more scientific? Will I rank better if I write for 6th graders?
Matt starts off by saying this is an “interesting” question that he spent a lot of time thinking about. The clarity of what you write matters a lot, Matt says. The best way to understand something is to teach it, and if you can’t teach it or explain it clearly then you don’t really understand it.
Matt says you’ll be in much better shape by writing content that’s easy to comprehend versus content that’s so technical the reader won’t be able to follow it. You want regular people to be able to get what you’re trying to say. If you do that, then you can go ahead and also include the technical terms for industry people.
First and foremost you need to pull people in and get them interested in learning about the concept you’re trying to explain. Matt says how you explain something matters as much as what you’re actually saying. If you’re saying something important but you can’t communicate it well, then it ends up falling on deaf ears.
Matt also says it varies depending on your audience. If your blog is only for professionals within your own industry, then using strictly industry jargon makes sense in that case. In general, try to make your content sound as natural as possible.
When Matt writes a blog post he actually reads it out loud before publishing it to try and catch parts that don’t quite sound natural. By doing Matt says you’ll end up with more polished writing that will stand the test of time better than content that’s overly technical.
After all of that, even though Matt is a strong advocate for clear writing, he says it won’t make much of a difference in terms of rankings. As far as rankings go, Matt suggests to think about the words the user is going to type, which are typically going to be regular words and not technical jargon. You can find ways to include both of them, but always go for clarity when you can.
To hear Matt’s full response in his own words, please see the video below: