Targeting And Usage Of Keywords

The whole process of people using search engines revolves around keywords, as they are the basic block from which all searching online is composed of. There is actually an entire scientific field of study around information retrieval, and this includes Internet search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and Google, and that science is rooted in the use of keywords. As a search engine, which really is only an online company for advertising, crawl the Internet and index Web pages, the information is stored in indices that are based on keywords. It takes a lot less hard drive space than putting 25 billion Internet pages on one server. The smaller databases still number in the millions, but each one is focused on a specific search phrase or keyword, which lets the engines pull up needed data at almost lightning speed.

What is obvious then is that if you need to rank a website for “pig” results, then you need to confirm that the word “pig” is in your crawl-able content online.

Those Dominating Keywords

Keywords and phrases are what dominate our communication with search engines, and they play into every interaction. When we type in what to look for, our favorite search engine starts connecting us to pages it thinks are related to what we typed in. The search engines use capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and even word order (think “flying pigs” instead of “pigs flying”) to glean more information as to what exactly we are looking for, what pages to retrieve, and what order to list them in.

How many times keywords are utilized on a particular page helps search engines determine how relevant that page is to a keyword query. So, if you want to optimize one of your pages for the keywords it is focused on, then make sure you have the keywords in the content text, but also the metadata, and the title.

In general, as you choose specific keywords, the narrower your competition is among search results. You’ll have less competition for “flying pigs” than you do for “pigs” in general, which means you get higher search engine positioning for the more focused keyword.

Abuse Of Keywords

Since online search first came about, many webmasters abused their keywords in the hopes of playing the search engines. Keyword stuffing was one such tactic, piling too many keywords into content, links, meta tags, and even URLs. It might have worked briefly in the early 90’s when there were so few websites, but now it can actually hurt your site.

The early Internet saw keyword frequency or usage as a core principle behind the search engine algorithms, but it ignored how keywords were used. Even though modern search engines don’t have the reading and comprehension skills of human minds, machine learning is advanced enough to determine some relevancy of keywords.

Your best bet is to work with the keywords in a natural fashion, even placing them strategically. If you want to do a page about “professional basketball”, then you should discuss the NBA, the WNBA, and maybe the D-League or Harlem Globetrotters. Free agency, the franchises and teams, the annual draft, trade rumors, and individual players and injuries are all relevant topics. However, if you have a webpage about something completely unrelated, like Shakespearean sonnets, and you just have “professional basketball” sprinkled in there, then your page will not get recognized as relevant, and you’ll have a tough time getting search engines to even rank your content, much less well.