Whether it’s for entertainment, information or business, there is no denying the importance of keywords in relation to search engines. Billions of webpages come and go, leaving even the best of articles or newsletters in the dust. Perhaps what is more daunting is the irrevocable fact that businesses either ignore the importance of keywords, or fail to realize their significance altogether. Below is a comprehensive guide on understanding keywords and how to utilize this information to get ahead of the search engine game.
Understanding Google Algorithms
As mentioned above, Google sifts through billions of pages every year. In order to create a more efficient and easy route to content, they construct indexes; shortcuts that allow for quicker search time that doesn’t involve scrounging through the entire database. This is where it can get interesting. Common, 5 cent words are not stored in the index. This means that “if”, “and”, “of”, or “the” will not be taken into consideration and removed when Google takes into account the content it is searching for. Despite being a minuscule change, it can make a drastic impact in the grand scheme of things, especially when we consider the substantial amounts of pages Google has to cover. There are four crucial elements that make the algorithm, each section sharing a relationship with the other three. The balance of the four are never absolute as a result of a myriad of updates every year, making it increasingly difficult to gauge which factor holds precedence over the other. To understand the entirety of the algorithm, we must first delve into the four elements.
The first of the four is almost self-explanatory in a sense. Without any solid content and informative news pertaining to your topic, you will find yourself stuck at the bottom of the thousands of search results. You may find yourself utilizing key words, with little to moderate success. You may want to consider placing key words in a title or anchor text for more impact.
A Voting System
Ever since the introduction of PageRank, ranking has dramatically changed. Although there are several other factors that can influence ranking, PageRank remains one of the large factors that make up one of the key elements of the algorithm. In essence, PageRank operates under a system similar to votes; one link to a webpage counts towards one vote, with each click casting a vote for that link. As you may have guessed, the more votes you have accumulate contributes to the ranking of your website. It’s also crucial to note that votes on one page linked to another page can influence the voting power of the other. For example, if you have a very popular toy site for kids, and it is linked to another less well known page with a smaller amount of votes, the voting power from the kid toys webpage will significantly boost and pass on some sharing power to the doggy toys link. It then becomes more and more necessary to establish a good foundation for one of your links in order to grow and have an easier time to maintain your extra links in the future. Of course, relevance also matters. As long as your webpage holds the right keywords in the right places, this shouldn’t be a problem whatsoever.
A Relationship Built on Trust
Traditionally, Google has attempted to balance its love-hate relationship with SEO. There are two reasons for this; SEO encourages and promotes enhancing user experience and generating phenomenal content for everyone to enjoy. However, it also tries to manipulate and mold success instead of letting the algorithm do its job without external influences. Google tackles this by implementing something they call Trust metrics. Factors such as content and the domain are both instances of Trust metrics. Bear in mind that multiple less trusted, or ‘inappropriate’ links will render your links useless as well as leaving your links vulnerable to Google’s ranking system, where your webpages will most likely lose any type of credibility. Of course, domain is the other part of the equation. Google takes into account how often a domain has changed hands, how long the domain itself expires as well as the length of ownership. With that being said, trust can be predetermined by the domain page itself. For example, .Edu has a long history of being trusted. As such, links from them will be prioritized and will likely receive high trust scores.
Google is always changing, and one of the expectations they have heavily geared towards is the user experience. Earlier this year, Google changed its priority list, ranking sites with several ads lower than those with little to no ads at all. It also changed its policies on interstitials, or advertisements that take up a portion of the web page. For more information on web pages, refer to another article explaining Google’s current view on interstitials. It has also changed its view on page speed, or the rate in which a page loads. This is mainly to curb sites that took so long to load and caused users to click back to the search results and picked another website. This change comes after Google specifically clarified that it began favoring HTML 5 and decided to drop Flash Player in order to optimize faster load speeds.