The face of online journalism has changed dramatically in recent times, but some of the more internet-savvy have found a way to face the ever-changing tide of online media: the paraphrasing tool. There has been a massive paradigm shift in content creation with the advent of paraphrasing tools like the free-to-use QuillBot. As many writers know, the key to driving traffic is by showing up, both first and often, in search results. An entire content strategy has been borne from this key insight – something called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, for short. This process focuses on packing in keywords relevant to one’s audience, continually creating content, and generally matching output to best appear in Google’s search results. There is one key problem, however, that these clever journalists, bloggers, and online content creators run into: how to create the boatloads of material that Google’s algorithm demands for top spot? Writers can only write so fast. Typists are limited by WPM. Tools like QuillBot are changing the industry and their uses can have astronomical effects for a site’s bottom line.
What exactly is QuillBot, and why does it help content creators optimize their search results? In essence, QuillBot is a “smart thesaurus for sentences.” It will reword and restructure sentences or paragraphs within seconds without losing the original meaning. This means that writers and website owners can cut their work down significantly when creating content and giving their take on current trends. The more content, the better the search results will be for the site – and QuillBot makes creating content ridiculously simple. Unlike other rephrasing/ article spinning sites, QuillBot actually does what it promises. Based off an underlying state-of-the-art artificial intelligence paraphraser, it retains semantic meaning – which is truly revolutionary. Though once on the site, one doesn’t have to be an AI expert to use the product. It is clean, simple to use, and even features a cartoon robot to help you along the way.
If you’re new to SEO optimization, you should jump on the bandwagon. The process is much cheaper than purchasing advertising like Google adwords, and allows for organic and low-cost results. Once one knows the tricks, it becomes that much simpler to convert search engine users to readers and even paying customers. The first step, and the most important is to understand the keywords that you would need to employ in your copy, content, or blogs. The next step is to create content that maximizes these keywords, but not just anything will do. To optimize web traffic, you should include keywords in titles, and the first 250 words. Content should be relevant to your audience and it should be somewhat lengthy as well. Search engines like Google and Bing prefer longer entries and articles (think in the 1500 word range). This boils down to one agonizing conclusion: to get that coveted top spot, you’re going to have to put in some elbow grease.
Search engine optimization is a skill like any other, but those who do it best learn how to work smarter not harder. A pored over, lengthy article is nice, but proves to be labor intensive. The more time spent writing single pieces of content means that your site is producing fewer results. Other competing sites, however, may be churning out content on a much faster rate meaning that they will appear higher in search results (i.e. you get less traffic). To increase the amount of content that you can create, more experienced SEO optimizers use paraphrasing tools, rewording tools, and article rewriters like QuillBot. What makes these tools so useful is their ability to cut down on time (and effort) in the writing process. Some more sophisticated SEO optimizers use sites like QuillBot as a pure SEO tool. A single article can be written for one site and rewritten several more times when sent through the software. These new versions posted on other sites. Because keywords are being optimized over a diverse set of platforms, one can trick search engines to give your message an even greater audience. The real key is to understand how these algorithms work, and to mold your messaging strategy to conform to its relevance-measures. Once you’ve fine-tuned your strategy you will know pretty immediately: you will see a significant spike in daily active users and general content traffic. Your work isn’t over at this point, however. SEO tools work best when monitored. Keep track of metrics and adjust your messaging and strategy until you’ve found your personal ‘sweet spot.’
In a hyper-competitive, overly saturated industry like online journalism, one needs to take steps to stand out. Those that do, AKA the BuzzFeeds of the world, reap almost all of the benefit. It truly is a winner-take-all scenario. Several techniques have emerged in recent years to drive traffic and catch the eye of the discerning online reader – some more annoying than others. Most have heard of ClickBait: the notorious practice of publishing articles, videos, and other content with exciting and incredible titles only to underdeliver (or worse – completely contradict itself a paragraph in). This practice has seen a decline in recent times as it is a short term solution – it drives users for a brief period of time but ultimately devalues the brand of the publisher and the credibility held by their readership. BuzzFeed, to their credit, have lampooned their infamous practice in articles decrying clickbait (I’ll allow the reader to come to her own conclusions of the publisher).
How does one compete without resorting to yellow-journalism? Without alienating your readership? Simple. You negotiate with your distributor. In the case of online journalists, your distributors have just two offices: one in Mountain View and Bellevue – they go by the names Google and Bing. Only two things will increase your competitive advantage: you will either have to dole out precious funds for advertising or you can exploit aspects of their algorithms. Unless you are a paid subscription site, the first strategy is unlikely to prove cost effective. Yes, users will be driven to the site, but the numbers won’t be significant for the price you pay. By taking advantages of quirks in search engines, you can grow your readership more organically without spending a dime on outside advertisers.
Let’s take another look at QuillBot. The interface is deceptively simple. Just paste the copy that you want to reword and “Quill” the entry. The output is a paraphrased and reworded version of the input. Think that a certain phrase sounds awkward? Simply mouseover the phrase and you have to option to instantly change it. Let’s try with an example from Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird:
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it”
When run through QuillBot you receive:
“You don’t really understand a man until you look at things from his viewpoint… until you hop in his skin and walk round.”
This is especially advanced as QuillBot is able to understand and manipulate language better than any other tool you can find on the web. It doesn’t simply add in synonyms willy-nilly, nor does it mix up idioms – an especially important aspect of the English language. Once you begin to fully see the potential, it’s hard not to use it as an everyday tool. This is made even easier by its convenient Chrome extension.
The media landscape is fluid; it changes like the wind. Writers, journalists, and website owners would do better to prepare themselves to adapt and do so quickly rather than stand stalwart against the changing market or worse – try to predict how it will change. The best thing that industry insiders can do is keep up to date and stay competitive. In the intelligence age, SEO tools and paraphrasing bots aren’t quirks: they’re necessary to stay relevant.