Here we are, at the end of our New School SEO series (you can start back at the beginning if you’re new, with 2014 Social Media Engagement tips). It’s been a wild ride, but all these posts are united by a common them: genuine relevance to users. And that often starts and ends with keywords. I saved the best for last!!
The Changing Keyword Landscape
According to Search Engine Watch, Google is doing some really cool things with their search queries, including “conversational” approaches, where you can refer directly to a query with a subsequent one that expands on it. For instance, one day you can Google “chocolate ice cream” for pictures of it, then and then type in “how is it made” for links to recipes. Crazy!!
Plus, all organic Google search queries are officially secure, meaning that keyword research is harder to come by. I see this as Google trying to completely dismantle the keyword system as we know it, making all online content creation truly organic and genuine with no data to build it on.
Stop the Spam, Man!
Matt Cutts and the rest of the Google tech-guy warriors are in constant battle with online marketers trying to make the internet a better place for the general user, and that means continually refining keyword power.
In the past, people just spammed their posts with irrelevant keywords and… voila! Top of the SERPs! But the content was usually bad, so Google changed things and shot them down as high Bounce Rates set in. That’s continuing further in 2014.
Forget all the “keyword saturation percentages” and “keyword repetition” crud you used to go by. Aim instead to hone in on a general keyword idea and make it prominent in the title and subheaders (only where relevant), and let the content work itself out. The key-phrase and its variations will show themselves naturally by default.
Bottom line: Quality and relevance of content matters way more than quantity of keywords now.
As I discussed in my post about Google+ effects on SERPs, your G+ profile and posts act essentially as blog posts, meaning keywords actually matter as your G+ posts show themselves in search results. That means your Google+ presence now pays big dividends for gaining traffic and backlinks back to your website.
So start posting about your site and linking back to it (as well as all your blog posts) on Google+ and include RELEVANT hashtag keywords to multiply your SERP exposure for a given set of key phrases.
How do these changes affect your 2014 SEO campaign plans? Do share!