Showing posts with label keywords. Show all posts
Showing posts with label keywords. Show all posts

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Is Keyword Stuffing Really a Big Deal?

Keyword stuffing has been one of the biggest grey areas of SEO for some time. If not, the dictionary definition of a black-hat tactic to avoid at all costs.

But when considering the endless complexities of SEO from a 2022 perspective, is keyword stuffing really such a big deal? Does the overuse of keywords have any negative effects, or does it simply result in the keywords you use being ignored by Google?


What is Keyword Stuffing?

Putting an exact definition to keyword stuffing isn’t easy. This is because depending on what it is you are writing about, it may be absolutely necessary to include a specific keyword or term throughout your copy.

Keyword stuffing refers to the deliberate overuse of a specific target term, with the goal of tricking the major search engines into handing out higher rankings. Irrespective of whether these keywords are visible or concealed, any signs of deliberate overuse will be picked up and acted upon by Google.

What’s the Problem with Keyword Stuffing?

Google’s job is to recommend websites and pages that deliver the best possible user experience. Where keywords are deliberately overused for SEO purposes, it has a major impact on the quality of the copy in question.

Consequently, these are exactly the types of pages Google does not want to recommend. Keyword stuffing is a sign of desperation on the part of the publisher - not an indicator of quality or relevance.

Increasingly, Google’s crawlers are scrutinising the overall UX of a website with remarkable sophistication when handing out rankings. If there is clear evidence of the overuse of keywords, it indicates a substandard user experience.

In which case, the efforts of the publisher to get ahead through the excessive use of keywords will almost certainly backfire.

Are There Any Real Consequences to Keyword Stuffing?

Attempting to take these kinds of shortcuts almost always proves counterproductive. Where Google makes clear its attitude and approach to a low-road tactic, it makes sense to listen.

“Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context,” as spelled out in clear terms by Google.

In practice, keyword stuffing can (and often does) result in a major fall in the rankings. Take things too far and you could even run the risk of your pages being delisted entirely.

Of course, this only applies in instances where keywords have clearly been used excessively without justification. If there’s no alternative but to use the same terms dozens of times - such as in a technical post or academic piece - Google will pick up on this and you won’t be punished.

In all other instances, it’s a case of following a few basic guidelines to get your keyword game in order:

1. Always ensure your keywords are included in your copy naturally

2. Focus on one primary keyword and several secondary keywords

3. Write content in a way that prioritises the user experience

4. Optimise in other ways and don’t rely too heavily on keywords

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Six SEO Myths to Ignore

SEO may have been around for decades now, but the concept remains a subject of confusion for millions of businesses worldwide. Every year, we’re bombarded with a completely fresh set of ‘rules’ and ‘best practices’ that can supposedly maximise the value of an SEO strategy.

Not to mention, all manner of myths and untruths – some of which are downright dangerous.

So just to illustrate how things are looking from a 2019 perspective, here’s a brief rundown of six dangerous SEO myths that are still doing the rounds with gusto right now:

1. Quality content alone is more than enough

First up, you cannot and will not achieve SEO glory without plenty of outstanding content. Nevertheless, you cannot run an effective SEO campaign on quality content alone. Content matters – and matters a lot – but is nonetheless just one of many components you need to address. Try to avoid putting all of your eggs in the same proverbial basket.

2. It’s all about the keywords

Likewise, getting too bogged down with keywords in general isn’t a good idea. Keywords are a critical element of the successful SEO strategy, but cramming in as many as possible and damaging the quality of your content in doing so is a risky tactic. Not to mention, the kind of tactic that doesn’t tend to curry favour these days with any of the major search engines.

3. More pages = better rankings

Contrary to popular belief, more pages will not necessarily guarantee more prominent SERP positioning. Unless the pages add genuine value and quality to your website, they won’t do a great deal for your SEO profile at all. Creating more pages simply for the sake of it is a common tactic, though one that’s unlikely to do you any favours.

4. Pictures are pointless

Just because search engine spiders cannot yet crawl the content of website pictures doesn’t mean they’re without value. The reason being that all major search engines now take into account various aspects of the user experience, which includes the provision of a rich mixture of media. What’s more, SEO-rich file names and alt-tags can and should be used to your advantage.

5. Mobile focus is overrated

If anything, it’s the exact opposite. Evidence suggests that not nearly enough business owners worldwide are yet giving mobile focus the attention it deserves. With mobile web traffic having comfortably overtaken desktop traffic, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the importance of mobile SEO focus.

6. It’s not necessary to hire help

Last but not least, it’s highly unlikely that any in-house effort that lacks extensive specialist expertise is going to get the job done properly. It just isn’t going to happen. Contemporary SEO is an infinitely more complex and challenging concept than it was even just a couple of years ago. You can’t make things up as you go along and expect to get by – nor can you rely on a half-cooked strategy to deliver positive results. If you’re serious about making the most of your SEO strategy, hiring help comes highly recommended.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Negative SEO: Protecting Yourself

Statistically speaking, your likelihood of being directly affected by negative SEO is actually relatively low. Nevertheless, it does exist, does happen and does have the potential to wreak havoc with your business.

In the simplest of terms, negative SEO refers to anything done by outside parties to either harm your rankings or redirect traffic elsewhere. It’s sometimes used to hijack traffic for material gains, though can also be used for no reason other than to destroy your reputation and business. And as it can be very difficult to reverse once you’ve been attacked, the best approach is to keep your eye out for anything suspicious and protect your business on an on-going basis.

Perform Regular Link Audits

For example, link audits represent an important SEO tool in general and can be very helpful in detecting negative SEO. You basically need to keep a constant eye on the links pointing toward your site and those your site features. Should any turn out to be spammy, fraudulent or invalid, your SEO prowess could take a hit.

Monitor Site Speed

Never forget that these days, Google pays close attention to the speed and overall performance of your website when determining its SERP rankings. Which is precisely why many negative SEO attacks target overall speed and performance, which can and often do make a big difference in terms of rankings.

Check for Scraped Content

This basically refers to the all-too common process of content being directly lifted from your website and published word for word elsewhere. The attacker may then subsequently claim that the copy is their own, which will lead to your site being penalised for duplicating their content. If not, the fact that the copy is repeated any number of times in various locations could automatically affect your rankings.

Check Google My Business

The occasional negative review tends to be both inevitable and potentially beneficial for your business. However, if it seems as if you are unfairly and inexplicably attracting negative press from all over the place, it could be that someone is trying to do your reputation damage with fake reviews. All of which is precisely why it is important to keep tabs on your online reputation at all times.

Upgrade Your Security

Last but not least, the single most effective way of protecting yourself from the kind of negative SEO that happens directly on your website itself is to upgrade the security of your site. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t always blatantly obvious when hackers have made their way through some kind of back door and done their bidding with your coding. Quite the opposite, as with negative SEO it’s more a case of sneaking in, wreaking havoc and making it as difficult as possible for the changes to be detected. So for obvious reasons, it simply makes sense to protect yourself to the highest possible extent.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Why Your SEO Strategy Has Hit a Brick Wall

Having invested heavily in an SEO strategy, the very last thing you want to see is a sudden slump. All seemed to be going as planned, only for your website to drop in the SERP rankings for no apparent reason.

Of course there is a reason why this happened – it’s simply a case of identifying the cause and addressing it. Easier said than done? It certainly can be, though if you’re guilty of any of the following crimes against SEO, you’ll most likely have your answer as to why you’ve hit a brick wall:

1 – Too Much Keyword Focus

First of all, it’s crucially important to acknowledge that we have well and truly entered the age of the natural language search. These days, consumers in growing numbers are speaking or typing extensive search sentences into their chosen engines, as opposed to just using one or two keywords. As such, the kind of keyword focus that would have struck gold in years gone by is slowly but surely becoming obsolete.

2. Dancing Around Google’s Every Move

One of the most critical mistakes any business or marketer can make is that of continually adjusting their approach to SEO, in accordance with Google’s latest algorithm updates. Why? Well, quite simply because if you are focusing on what matters, you will automatically satisfy everything Google is looking for. The SEO rulebook will always change, but only as a means by which to highlight and promote sites of quality. Which means that if you focus on quality, you’re future-ready.

3. Website Alterations

Never forget that each and every change you make to your website can have an impact on its SEO prowess. Even in the case of changes implemented to vastly improve the overall user experience, there’s still every chance you’ll experience a slide in the rankings. Which is precisely why it is a good idea to consult with the experts, before going ahead with any overhauls.

4. Content Stagnation

Just because your website ranked extremely well last week doesn’t mean the same will be true this week, if you are unwilling to regularly and routinely refresh its content. Even if your evergreen content is top-notch, it will quickly go stagnant in an SEO capacity and needs to be complemented with regular additions.

5. Bum Links

The same also goes for both the links you present on your website and the backlinks pointing your way. If your own links become invalid, it’s bad news. If you lose a quality backlink, even worse news. It’s crucial to carry out regular link audits to check on the health and relevance of both, in order to keep your SEO strategy on the straight and narrow.

6. Fierce Competition

Last but not least, it’s also worth bearing in mind that it may in fact be nothing that you yourself have done wrong, but rather what your rivals are doing better. If you are not continually stepping up your game when it comes to new-generation SEO, it is inevitable that you will be overtaken by the competition

Saturday, 3 November 2012

How To Use Keywords In SEO

SEO is the process of increasing the online visibility of a website by improving its search engine rankings. This incorporates a number of elements, but as any internet marketing company will tell you, using the right keywords effectively is the cornerstone of any SEO strategy. Once you have identified the right keywords to suit your company you are on your way to boosting your online presence.

So how do you go about choosing these all-important keywords? The first step is to do some keyword research within your target market. Find out the kinds of terms potential clients are most likely to type into search engines, and then whittle these down to which are most suited to your own company.
Also, consider whether you are going to use broad or targeted keywords, or a combination of the two. Broad keywords will tend to describe what your company does as a whole so they are likely to net you in more visitor overall. However, targeted keywords may get you higher percentages of conversion rates (when a visitor is ‘converted’ into a paying customer) because they are relating to more specific products and services. A customer has to actually be searching for a certain product to find your website so they are more likely to buy it.

Once you’re worked out which keywords are likely to work best for you, think about where you will need to place them. The most obvious place is in the keyword Meta Tag which can be found in your website’s html head section. Your keywords should be placed here in the order of importance, from largest to smallest.

Keywords should also be distributed throughout your web copy. Bear in mind that search engines tend to pay the most attention to the first 200 words on a page, so make sure the words are used here.  They can also be used within headings and anchor text (link text) to help boost search engine rankings.

There are certain ‘don’ts’ when it comes to keywords as well. For one thing, you should always use a keyword density checker to make sure you are within the appropriate boundaries. ‘Keyword stuffing’, as the over-use of keywords within a website is known, is frowned upon by search engines and you can be penalised for it. Also, if you decide to place your words in anchor text, such as an image link, do make sure it is relevant and appropriate to the context.

Learning to use keywords effectively can be difficult at first. If you need help getting started, it could be worth using the temporary services of an internet marketing consultant. You will be able to find plenty of these in online business directories, but just make sure you check their credentials thoroughly and get recommendations before you hire them.