They say that keywords aren’t as relevant for ranking today as they used to be. However, ‘they’ say a lot, so these days you must verify your information with extreme care. Especially, when dealing with such important matters as your website’s Google ranking.
What’s the Actual Truth About Keywords?
The truth is that Google’s algorithm has evolved over the last years. Its main purpose is to satisfy people and to do this it has to understand their desires. Have you ever caught yourself thinking ‘Hey, Google knows exactly WHAT I want even if I don’t word it right’? If yes, think back on these occasions and remember how the suggestions offered by the search fit the topic of your inquiry.
This is what has changed in Google’s algorithms. Their focus has shifted from keyword orientation to topic relevancy. This resulted in keywords losing a measure of their ranking value.
Does this mean that keywords don’t matter anymore?
No, it really doesn’t.
This situation, as a whole, isn’t a black-or-white kind of issue. Search engine algorithms still pay attention to keywords during website analysis, so they do have some influence on your ranking. It’s the extent and context of this influence that has changed.
Today, Google performs a semantic analysis of the content in order to assess the relevancy of the subject matter (keyword) to the topic. One could explain it like looking at the ‘meaning’ instead of ‘form’.
Due to this kind of analysis, strategic placement of keywords on your websites has lost most of the ranking power. It’s actually a good thing from an internet-user’s point of view. This kind of approach prevents some unscrupulous marketers from ranking websites through keyword manipulation. Content created using these techniques usually has little informative value as it’s simply ‘twisted’ to fit a specific keyword placement structure.
‘Bad’ pages like this have been a major issue a short while ago, so it’s not surprising that Google improved their Hummingbird to seed them out. However, this left all SEO professionals in a bit of a bind, as they currently need to learn how to rework their keyword strategies.
How to Create High-Ranking Content and Choose the Best Keywords Today
The first thing you need to do is to stop relying on Google’s keyword planner. Test it yourself and generate some keyword on the topic you need. Then, enter it into the Google search and see how few results match your query literally. For example, when searching for something like ‘personal finance credit’ you are most likely to get results that suggest personal finance advice, personal loans, credit cards, etc. In essence, Google provides you with links to the websites that might be interesting to a person seeking information on personal finance, not an exact match to your keyword-oriented query.
Therefore, forget about building your content around a set of specific phrases. You can use them still, but only when they can be smoothly integrated into the text.
Instead, you should shift your focus to filling your website with top-quality content that covers the topic from every angle. The more valuable and thorough your information is the higher is your chance to attract the attention of Google search.
SEO of the Future: Value over Form
The recent changes in Google’s algorithms have redefined SEO, and, although not everyone has caught up yet, marketers will have to adjust their strategies to the new rules. The ones who starts doing so now would definitely win in the long run.
Reworking your digital marketing campaign and re-optimizing your website may seem like a hassle now, especially if it works fine. However, this would be a great investment in your business’ future. There is always room for improvement, and you can’t miss a chance to get ahead of the competition.