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Is Passive Voice an SEO Sin?

To be honest, utilizing passive voice in SEO (where necessary) isn’t always a big deal. You must have seen that it is ideal for implementing content marketing in digital marketing in the active voice if you’re optimizing your articles or another content type to boost rankings in the SERPs significantly. But there can be times when the information you’re coming across is too mainstream all over the internet. 

Let us look at an example. Say your objective is to persuade parents to buy a new food item for their children, such as chocolate sauce.

In an active voice, it will be, “Your kids will love our chocolate sauce.”

In passive, it will be “Our chocolate sauce will be loved by your kids.”

Based on this notion, passive constructs are more intricate and hence more challenging to comprehend, which could hurt the search engine rankings of your content. Unfortunately, technical, and academic writing frequently includes language in passive form. 

Operating in a B2B industry like advertising, IT or computer programming makes it difficult to avoid this problem – particularly when content briefings originate from different areas of technicality. 

The point is that the internet is already saturated with content on almost any and every aspect. So, most of the technical information you’d find would be either tweaked around or would elaborate itself unnecessarily. This may help your website look wholesome for a while, but the truth is- from an SEO point of view- the website would lose its ranking in the longer run.

Also read – Importance of Blogging for SEO and Marketing Strategy

How Does Passive Voice Impact SEO?

Neither active nor passive voice for content marketing in digital marketing is specifically linked to ranking. Using passive voice makes the text difficult to read and could also have an indirect impact on how Google interprets the content of your site. The likelihood that the text will be accurately interpreted decreases with reduced readability, which harms the behavioral ranking variables. 

In turn, it might harm the SERPs. This is why active voice is preferable for text comprehension. However, having said that, it is also crucial to mention that there are certain situations where the passive voice is preferred. Not to mention, sometimes it is simply unavoidable.

When Can Passive Voice Be Used?

Despite everything SEO experts may tell us, there are instances when using the passive voice is advantageous. While both voices have their uses, here are a few situations where the passive format should be used:

  • When you need to focus more on the outcome of the situation than the situation itself.
  • When you want to maintain anonymity or hide your subject of discussion.

So, it ‘is’ necessary to take the passive route, and guess what? You can still maintain the clarity of what you are trying to communicate. BINGO! 

How Can One Write Effectively in Both Active and Passive Voice?

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To improve a weblog’s readability, you can use a variety of software and language checkers, such as Hemingway, Grammarly or perhaps, Quillbot. You can always subscribe to these tools, or you have the option of working with free online tools. It’s a win-win either way.

These tools will help point out passive voice structures, and occasionally, they will even indicate what percentage or portion of your writing is passive. In addition to that, Grammarly and Quillbot can even assist with alternate phrasing of the blog/article. All these programs have their advantages and disadvantages. Another fact to be noted is how at one point, the rephrased content may demonstrate plagiarism if used too frequently.

There is a potential chance of content showing the same information or rephrasing if used more than once from the same source on two different blogs. This is one huge disadvantage of rephrasing software. Hence, they are not very reliable.

The fact that the content will be valuable and useful to your audience is what matters most. As you can see, when used correctly, the passive voice can assist readers in comprehending texts. Furthermore, when misused, the active voice can complicate matters to no end!

Our goal in marketing is to give our readers new, pertinent, legible, and creative content. The days of stuffing keywords to climb the rankings are long gone. Today, search engine optimization is a completely new game with constantly evolving rules, and you need to be abreast with the evolving trends to be at the top of your game.

Final Thoughts

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The majority of marketing professionals would agree that we should provide amazing, helpful and educational material for our customers. In addition, we want that content to appear in the SERPs. Therefore, making sure that the content has a high readability score is a key component of your strategy. 

For that, you need to do a basic check of your content in terms of formatting, grammar, tense, tonality and so on. A lot of effort goes into the creation of a blog stand out and keep the readers hooked. Only then will they come back for more!

If you need help, AdLift is a great option you can look up. They will help you scale your website’s game to newer heights!

Sangita Kumari
Sangita Kumari
A law student at Vinoba Bhave University.

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