When we use inclusive writing in web writing, the question of natural referencing, or SEO, arises. Google’s algorithms indeed analyze the keywords present in the texts in order to position the articles in the search results. The algorithms thus classify the results from the most relevant to the least relevant, in particular according to the correspondence between the searched keywords and the keywords present in the text.
This is where inclusive writing and SEO do not agree … The presence of typographical signs used in inclusive writing (midpoint, dashes, parentheses …) can indeed create reading difficulties for the algorithm , in addition to only constitute a minority of requests entered by users.The logic that governs SEO is also based on the requests of Internet users. For an article to generate traffic, it must provide an answer to a frequently searched query. And Internet users are not (yet) used to doing their research in inclusive writing! In addition, the few users to do so can use the 6 different forms that we mentioned above… Double problem: the requests in inclusive writing are in the minority, and dispersed .
Olivier Andrieu, considered one of the French SEO experts, sums up the question in three points: [There is] no problem if we write in inclusive writing and we are looking for inclusive writing, although the practice is in the minority. On the other hand, if you write in inclusive writing, there is little chance of being found with classic queries.The coexistence of several forms of inclusive writing complicates the research.Until search engines deal with this kind of query, inclusive writing is not a good SEO idea.You will understand: inclusive writing should be avoided if you want to position your site at the top of Google search results! As long as search engines don’t process this type of query, but more importantly, as long as users don’t type in this type of query – and in a standardized way, inclusive writing and SEO won’t mix.Read also: The checklist for a good SEO referencing of your blog articlesNote: Also pay attention to the use of inclusive writing in newsletters. E-mailing CMS can generate interpretation errors regarding links with midpoints.The issue of the keyword, predominant on gender equality?Since the keyword issue governs the ranking of search results , the web editor may be reluctant to use inclusive writing. However,
there are more and more examples of gender-neutral writing on the web. If they are still isolated, these practices are encouraging … certain behemoths of the editorial staff are also getting started. Indeed, Le Monde recently introduced new writing rules for its journalists, for gender-neutral writing . This advance is all the more significant as the newspaper is authoritative with Google algorithms. The hope of a natural referencing based on non-gendered keywords therefore remains possible! The practice of the web will perhaps end up imposing non-discriminating writing in the logics of referencing. When inclusive writing is used more frequently, it will gain importance in Google algorithms, which will encourage web professionals to use it more generally… and so on!If inclusive writing and SEO do not mix today, a virtuous circle can, little by little, lead to a happy marriage. And writing professionals are the first players in this change! Read by thousands of people, don’t they have a duty to spread non-discriminating writing?
Are they not the most legitimate to shake up the codes and practices of the language a little? Pay attention to SEO, yes. Writing for robots rather than humans, no! But how can you work for gender equality without plunging traffic to your website? Do not be discouraged, there are tips!How to be inclusive without being excluded by Google algorithms?Tip # 1:If you want to work directly to advance the virtuous circle of inclusive writing / SEO, you can definitely use inclusive writing in body text. However, ban titles (H1, H2, H3,…) which have a lot of weight in natural referencing. Also ban urls to avoid errors, and alternative tags intended for the visually impaired. Prefer the midpoint to slashes, hyphens and parentheses: these typographies are more difficult to read, especially for people
with disabilities, dyslexia or dysorthography.Tip 2:Favor generic and encompassing terms : prefer expressions such as “the writing team”, “the teaching staff”, “the medical profession”, etc. By referring to the collective rather than the individual, you avoid any qualification of kind. When possible, use neutral epicene words : “artist”, “specialist”, “partner”, “manager”,