Keywords are losing their potency and importance. We no longer live in a world of SEO where we can simply add a few keywords and we’ll soon find ourselves on the first page of Google. No, in fact keywords have taken a back seat to things like social media in the last 12 to 18 months. It’s why you have to start changing the way you approach SEO.
We know you have to switch your emphasis to a more community orientated campaign, but why has this happened?
Manipulation and Shortcuts
Wherever there’s something like SEO you can guarantee there are a small group of people looking for an easy shortcut to the top. It’s Google’s job to stay on top of this. Some social media metrics are impossible to manipulate because you have to rely on people you don’t know to ‘share’ and ‘re-tweet’ your content. You can’t force people to do this.
Keywords can be manipulated through stuffing and using unrelated keywords to bring in a more general audience. If you can predict how a system is going to react it’s open to manipulation. Google can’t do anything to prevent this. The only thing they can do is turn the focus towards something nobody can manipulate.
It makes SEO fairer and it gives a better representation of what people consider useful.
Better Quality Results
If you typed something into Google five years ago you might have gotten lots of results which were totally unrelated to what you were searching for. This was a time where SEO was easy and practically anyone could manipulate it. It came down to quantity of link and quantity of keywords over any quality.
Google wants to enhance the quality of its results to make sure it can never be challenged. Granted, it’s already reached this point. The likes of Yahoo and Bing are dead and buried and will never overthrow a company the size of Google.
It wants to further increase its market share. By enhancing the quality of the results, through removing various shortcuts, more people are going to use Google whilst browsing online.
Keywords offer no differentiation between websites. All the top results on Google for a certain keyword will use roughly the same keywords the same number of times. How do you tell which is the best one?
A few years ago the answer was in the number of backlinks from guest blogs. This was open to abuse and it’s why the results weren’t reflecting people’s true views. Social media will become the defining factor. It’s not going to make keywords obsolete. They will still play a part in basic categorisation. But this is the extent of their reach.
Keywords are something everyone is expected to use. They won’t mean a great deal in terms of your SEO value. They will form the foundations of any campaign. From here, you will have to focus on gaining genuine popularity through quality content and offers which provide real value to users.