Are keywords still important in 2022?
The answer is yes, but the world of SEO is ever changing and keywords aren't the most essential part of SEO.
Let's take a look at keywords more deeply and understand why people use them so much in their content writing.
To Know Why Keywords are So Important to Content Writing You Need to Know How Google Works
As previously mentioned in my blog post about the inner workings of Google, it boils down to this:
Google uses crawlers to search the internet for text, images, and videos of pages it downloads to a giant library. All of this data is analysed before it's indexed properly and stored in Google index.
In the Early Days of Google
Keywords were a big part of blogging, and SEO was a lot easier than it is today. Back then all you needed to do was put in as many keywords into your content, add a title tag, meta description and bob's your uncle you'd be ranked.
Unfortunately people discovered a way of misleading the search engine, and started stuffing their blogs full of keywords, and lots of other little tricks that Google didn't like.
Back to the Present Google Search
It didn't take Google long to cotton on to the fact that people were taking advantage of the system, and instead decided to focus on quality and user experience to remedy this.
Quality is the order of the day, and keyword stuffing is no longer allowed, and a big no no in Google's eyes.
Filling a blog post full of keywords doesn't make for good writing. Good writing comes from hard work and practice and takes time to master.
This leads us to how Google is ever-evolving and trying to understand language. That's why a lot of website owners use conversational language and write in a more natural way.
How Do Google Algorithm Updates Affect Keywords?
Google updates have produced a lot of changes, let's take a look at their updates:
February 2011, Panda concentrated on duplicate content and content that was thin and had no real substance to it.
2012 was the introduction of Penguin which punished websites that used link schemes and keyword stuffing.
In 2013 Google released Hummingbird which was presented as a complete overhaul of the core algorithm. Google really wanted to know what the purpose was behind a search query.
RankBrain Google's most recent update uses an artificial intelligence system that processes and sorts search results which does two things, understand keywords and measure user satisfaction.
We are beginning to see that Google search is more than just keywords, and it needs well-made content to index in its database.
Do Keywords Really Carry Weight With Google Search?
With the recent algorithm update of RankBrain, Google looks at particular behavioural factors such as time spent on page and bounce rate, this is before it looks at keywords.
Google is more interested in how much time people are spending on websites and what links they're hitting when they're there, also if visitors to a website go anywhere else for the same information.
So How Does this Effect Keyword Use in a Website?
It certainly appears that Google cares more about topic and content than the amount of keywords used repeatedly in content. In essence website content should be about creating user centric content, and value to the audience.
What is the Answer to the Use of Keywords?
Google is looking for the most relevant content to share with people, and they've become so good at this that they'll stop anyone who tries to manipulate the system with underhanded tactics.
You can see why Google doesn't like deceptive strategies that don't provide the user with anything, but do everything to trick a search engine and manipulate the results.
We can see that Google search and all search engines look for quality content, and a user-friendly website that people can easily navigate to find what they need.
Are Keywords Still Important?
Yes they are to a point, but only if they're used in a way that makes sense in a blog post and not overused.
What Are Keywords?
Keywords in SEO are the words and phrases people use to search for content in a search engine like Google, they're also known as search queries.
Your aim is to make sure that keywords used are all relevant to what people are looking for, this will help your readers when they enter your website.
Best advice is to aim for quality content and use keywords sparingly when you're creating unique content.
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