When writing for SEO and social optimization I always advocate a very simple and effective strategy: write for the humans.

Far too often I get requests asking to help people optimize their website content by juicing up keywords, maxing out meta and creating a complex link mesh. While I’m not here to tell you that there isn’t merit to targeting keywords, paying attention to your meta descriptions and finding ways to get high quality links back to your site, I am here to tell you the remarkable content beats all of those hands down. Here’s my calculus.

Everyone and everything online seem to be moving towards a high level of intelligence, we, as humans, all understand the web a little better than in years past. Further, the machines – the search engines, the social networks also understand the web better. We are moving at great speed to a time when the machines understand the web as clearly as the humans. As that happens, SEO and social optimization need to become “smarter” as well. Consider how a human might rank quality website content, by examining it for value and how it contributes positively to their collective intelligence. If the search engine algorithms act more human like, they too will look at the quality of content in their decision matrix of where to rank the page and website.

Is it more difficult to get high rankings with this new SEO and social optimization model? If you’ve always focused on writing quality web content, the answer is no. You already understand the power and value of “helping the humans” and rest assured that the machines will follow. If, though, your SEO prowess is founded in the old tactics of link farming and search phrase saturation, it’s time for you to take a breath and give some thought to shifting your mindset to the new, more human way of optimizing your content.