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Past Tense in Agreement

As a copy editor, one of the most common issues I come across is the incorrect usage of the past tense in agreement. This mistake can not only make your writing seem sloppy and unprofessional, but it can also have a negative impact on your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

Let`s start with the basics: what is past tense in agreement? Essentially, this is when the tense of a verb in a sentence needs to agree with the tense of the other verbs around it. Here`s an example:

Incorrect: I was walking down the street when I see my friend.

Correct: I was walking down the street when I saw my friend.

In the incorrect version, the tense of the second verb (“see”) doesn`t match the past tense of the first verb (“was walking”). This is a simple mistake, but it can make your writing seem unpolished.

But why does this matter for SEO? Well, search engines like Google are constantly trying to improve the user experience by providing the most relevant and high-quality content. One of the ways they do this is by analyzing the grammar and syntax of a webpage to determine its quality. If your writing is riddled with errors like past tense agreement mistakes, it can signal to Google that your content is not high-quality.

In addition, if you`re using keywords in your content (which you should be!), using them in the incorrect tense can harm your SEO efforts. For example, if you`re trying to rank for the keyword “buy shoes online”, using it in the incorrect tense (e.g. “buying shoes online”) could hinder your ranking potential.

So how can you avoid past tense agreement mistakes in your writing? The key is to pay careful attention to the tense of your verbs and ensure they match the tense of the other verbs in the sentence. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Read your writing out loud to yourself. This can help you catch mistakes that you might not notice when reading silently.

2. Use tools like Grammarly to help you spot potential errors.

3. If you`re unsure about the correct tense to use, do a quick Google search to see examples of the verb in use.

4. Before publishing your content, have someone else read it over to spot any errors you might have missed.

By taking the time to carefully check the tense of your verbs and avoiding past tense agreement mistakes, you can improve the quality of your writing and boost your SEO efforts. So next time you`re proofreading your content, be sure to keep this important rule in mind!

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