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Keyword Choices for Search Engine Ranking

You type in your search term and up pop results. Chances are you will find what you are looking for within the first page or two of the search engine results.

  1. Do you understand how those results came to be?

  2. Do you understand how your web site excels or fails when it comes to search terms?

Keywords Need To Reflect Search Terms

Keywords must reflect the terms people are searching for. Avoid industry speak or special terms that lay people aren't familiar with. Consider your target audience. If you are aiming for kids, a site with fossils may put more emphasis on fossils as a keyword. If your audience is professional then you may choose to put the emphasis on paleontology.

Search Engine Keyword Choices
Results for Plant Fossils (Left) verses Paleontology (Right)

In either case, there is one irrefutable fact, if your keyword does not appear on your site, you are not going to place. The most elegantly written content and captivating images will not improve your web site's search engine rank, if the search term is not present in your content.

Now you have an understanding as to why keywords are important. So what do you do with this knowledge?

In the early days of the internet, search engines used basic algorithms to determine a web page's keyword relevance. Spammers and designers took advantage of this simple algorithm by creating 'doorway' pages filled with search terms just to attain ranking. Search engine algorithms became more complex, relegating those pages to rejects. This is mentioned as a warning; too much is a bad thing. Search engines are in a constant battle to keep search results relevant and accurate. Scams designed to place a site well when it is irrelevant are quickly identified and the search criteria adjusted to eliminate them. What this means for you is that you must present balanced and relevant content. There are no quick solutions, it is a constant battle to remain relevant and current.

Date: 08.05.2011

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