SEO is an established set of techniques that aim to improve your website’s search engine ranking. In the past, a website with highly optimized content could easily rise to the top of Google or Yahoo! by tricking search engine spiders. Some of the most common SEO content techniques included:
- Keyword Spamming – This is one of the most common SEO content techniques and involves repeating a certain keyword or phrase a specific number of times. Many webmasters still believe that they need to get a 4-8 percent keyword density, even in short articles.
- Keyword Organization – For a while, Google and other search engines prioritized pages that had keywords in a certain page position. This led to ridiculous websites with normal content at the top and mindlessly repetitive content at the bottom of each page.
- Low-Quality Content – Site owners often published unhelpful content that was only tangentially related to target search terms specifically due to keyword density. Content farms used a shotgun approach, developing hundreds of pages with low-quality content in the hope that something would rise through the ranks.
Modern websites don’t need to use tricks to get good search engine rankings. In fact, if you use any of the techniques above to “optimize” your content, you’re probably hurting your site’s ability to get noticed for several reasons:
Readers Don’t Link to Bad Content
Links are a major factor in modern search engine rankings, and with Google and Bing introducing new systems to identify low-quality links, you can’t just pay some third-party company to deliver a bunch of fake incoming links that lead to your website. You need to impress your readers whether you’re writing a blog, website content or anything else.
Overanalyzing your content and implementing strict SEO techniques won’t get you any fans and might hurt your ability to attract page views.
Google (And Other Search Engines) Weed Out Unhelpful Websites
Every Google update is aimed at improving the user experience, and users don’t care about how many times a keyword appears in your content or where you put the keywords on your page.
All Google searches start with a question. The searcher is looking for answers, and if your website doesn’t provide an answer, it’s not going to stay at the top of the heap. What’s more, search engine programmers are talented individuals trained to spot weaknesses in their algorithms. If there’s a current method out there that will game Google and get you an instant top-10 ranking, Google’s already aware of it and working on a fix.
Conversely, when you publish high-quality content, you future-proof your website. Future search engine algorithm updates will hurt your disreputable competitors, but they’ll only push your site higher up.
Keyword Density Isn’t That Important
It’s true that search engines look for a good keyword density of about 1-3 percent, so if you don’t include your keyword at all, you probably won’t appear in your target search results. You should start writing your content with a few key phrases in the back of your mind.
With that being said, there’s no magic number of repetitions that will shoot your page to the top of your target search results. If you use any keywords unnaturally, the search engines will detect the awkward grammar and penalize your website.
You will naturally repeat phrases throughout your content if you write normally. What’s more, you’ll end up using related phrases, widening your potential audience significantly.
To get a high search engine ranking, you still need to pay attention to your page’s overall SEO as it relates to design and layout, but you don’t need to worry about your content if it’s readable, helpful and laid out in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
Write the type of content that you’d want to find in a search query and you’ll get much better long-term results without wasting time on keyword density and other outdated (or soon-to-be-outdated) SEO concepts.