Woe betide any website owner trying to hook-wink Google these days in order to get better keyword rankings in its organic search results. Google have made it harder to target specific keywords. If you were to try using past ‘black hat’ techniques such as stuffing your keyword in a page over and over again you’re likely to see your site soon disappearing from the first few pages of Google’s organic listings. Believe me you don’t want to go there.
Google through their Hummingbird algorithm now returns results based on people searching in a more conversational and natural way. It actually makes perfect sense with more people using smart phones and searching by speaking – think Apple’s Siri for instance.
Hummingbird also paves the way for Google – which has made no secret of this – becoming more involved in artificial intelligence. Google is getting better at understanding the meaning behind content. They don’t need to see the same keywords repeated over and over again to know what a web page is about. Keywords, however, are still important and will remain so. Part of my success with clients has been targeting longer-tail keywords or phrases in content.
For a start there is often less competition for these key phrases and secondly there is less chance of a website being penalised because the content looks more ‘natural’ in Google’s eyes.
There are packages that can help you find these longer-tail keywords. Personally, I prefer Google Keyword Planner – part of Google Adwords. If you haven’t an Adwords account you will need to sign up for one but it is free and you do not need to carry out any Google Adwords advertising to use it.
Do get in touch with me and I would be very happy to show you more of what I’ve been doing using longer-tail keywords.