The term relevancy is probably a mantra over at Google HQ.
Any search engine wants to deliver relevant content, but Google is positively fanatical about it. Relevant content means that the top pages in the search listing provide an answer to the question the searcher was asking.
The basic pool of search results is built from a fairly brain dead algorithm. If you type in a search term like computer keyboard, you’ll get a pool of search results that include all pages having either the word computer or the word keyboard, or both.
Doing the computer keyboard search on Google gives us this result today:
So the pool of possible search results is over 64 million web pages! Where relevancy comes into play is when search engines decide which results to show first.
Showing up on the first page of search results is the goal of search engine optimization. Few people go to even the second page; instead, they’ll try a different search if none of the sites on the first page answer their question.
By doing keyword research, we’ve ensured that we will be in the pool of search results. To get onto the first page, we need to create keyword rich content and optimize the page for the keyword.
In years past, a common tactic for ranking high in search engines was called “keyword stuffing”. This basically means that you take the keyword you want to us and repeat it over and over again in your content. For example, if your keyword was computer keyboard you might have content like this:
The computer keyboard has a long and varied history. Computer keyboards evolved from the dials and switches used to communicate with computers before computer keyboards existed. Computer keyboards have greatly improved our ease of interacting with computers.
You get the idea…repeating the keyword ad nauseam. These days some search engines will penalize sites that do this by moving them lower in the rankings.
The best way of creating keyword rich content is to simply write about the topic described by the keyword. Use the keyword in your content, but vary it a bit. If you have a multiple word keyword, split the words so they don’t always appear together. And don’t use the keyword more often than is natural.
The keyword you’re targeting should appear in the first line of your content, and then again in the last paragraph. In between, just focus on writing quality content about the topic and avoid keyword stuffing, and search engines should find your page relevant.
In the next post I’ll talk about optimizing the HTML on the page for the keyword. This helps to break ties when more than one site has keyword rich content.
Until then, write some content!