We as consumers of internet writing are becoming dumbed down.
In short, we are becoming Net Ninnies.
It may or may not be our fault.
Much writing on the internet strives to follow good SEO rules. (Search Engine Optimization). Because if no one finds your posts why write them in the first place.
SEO rules are either the cause of dumbed down writing or the audience is driving the creation of these rules. It’s one or the other. I know which side my money is on.
So what are some of the SEO rules?
Length of the post.
It is bad SEO to write blog posts that are greater than 300 words. That is about the average number of words in a page. Posts less than 300 words are not good either.
Apparently, our short-term memory is more efficient when operating in 300-word increments.
300 words? Are you kidding me? What would have become of the classics if they were published on the web?
“Gone with the Wind” would have to be published in 1,394 separate blog posts. ( 418,053 words at 300 words a page = 1,394 (1,393.5 ~1,394) )*
In the time it took for the story to unfold, Rhett and Scarlet would have met other people and neither of them would have given a damn about the other.
Ok, I just checked the math and the Civil War lasted 1,510 days so the war would be winding down after the blog posted version of “Gone With The Wind” completes. Let’s face facts though, the bloom was way off the petal by then and both Rhett and Scarlet were looking for a way out.
If Rhett could have made use of those extra days he may have come up with sign off words that were just a little more creative. “Frankly Scarlett, I don’t give a damn” has to be the last words of many a failed relationship involving women named Scarlett.
.At 40,300 words, “Around The World in 80 Days” would have taken ~134 days.
Phileas Fogg would have lost the £20,000 and blamed it on the French guy.
“War and Peace” at 587,287 words would take around 1,957 days for Peace To Overcome War.
In that amount of time, there are bound to be a few new wars cropping up. Peace for all would come much later. I am not going to calculate the amount of time for that to happen. It’s too depressing to think that the amount of endings is not keeping up with the number of beginnings.
Yes, the SEO score of a blog post goes down if the reading level of the post is too complicated
Complexity takes into account the number of words per sentence. Good SEO dictates that shorter sentences work better. The SEO rule that really dumbs the net down is that the count of syllables in your post should be low. So if you are forcing a reader to pick up a dictionary (google it) then your blog post will pass into the annals of time without notice.
What would famous quotes or passages from books amount to if they followed good SEO principals?
Instead of Sydney Carton concluding ”It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done; it is a far, far better …” He would be relegated to affirm “I’m going to do the best thing ever.” Sounds like a certain leader of the free world.
The epoch opening of “A Tale of Two Cities” would not be recognizable.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief it was the epoch of incredulity…..”
This quote goes on to add a few more lines with quite a few more multisyllabic words so I am sure that it would be dumbed down to something more like; “Well, it was good and bad. Trust me on this.”
Let’s face it, Dickens would suffer greatly.
“Four Score and Seven Years ago….” Would have become “A long time ago in a land far away.” causing George Lucas to pay usage fees to the Lincoln estate.
No, I don’t mean “You’re not going anywhere young man until you clean your room.” In SEO-land stop words are common words that, if occurring in the title, are ignored by GOOGLE because apparently it has some standards.
There exists over 600 stop words. It’s a wonder anything on the internet gets read.
The words “See Her Taken” would be totally ignored by GOOGLE thus forcing Liam Neesam to abandon a fourth sequel. That might not be a bad thing. Films like “Dude, Where’s My Car” would probably never see the light of day.
At this point, my word count is more than twice the max so for the few readers that are left, peace out.
*I think I just blew a few of my former math instructors minds by showing my work.