SEO in 2020: What Role Do Keywords Play?
This is 2020. People who have been connected to SEO (search engine optimization) work in some way or the other know that a lot has changed in this regard in the last 10 years. Back in 2010, Google was yet to come up with updates such as Panda, RankBrain, Hummingbird, and BERT, to name a few. At that time, a lot of people had rather simplistic ideas when it came to SEO content. They knew that the target keyword had to be in the content for a certain number of times. The same also went for its variations. They made sure that the keywords were added at critical locations such as title tags and meta descriptions.
Google’s algorithm has matured
They thought that a certain number of words had to be written in the content as that was supposed to be the successful length to get good rankings on the search engine results pages. However, in the past decade, the algorithm of Google has matured a lot.
SEO professionals now know that no longer can you fool Google and get great rankings by stuffing keywords in the content. It has all to do with providing the users with the best possible experience. In this context, you need to know how to write content for such searches.
SEO content – what is it?
The term SEO content signifies content that has been written with the precise purpose of getting ranked on the search engine results pages. However, a lot of SEO professionals are nowadays rejecting such a notion.
This is because the term carries a stigma with it. It means content that has been written for search engines rather than for the people who are searching. That does not fly anymore. This is because Google is changing its algorithm in such a way that it represents the user more than anything else.
Making content SEO friendly
There are a few things that you need to keep in mind in this regard. You need to make sure that you write content that would answer the intent with which a user is asking a particular question. You need to make your content as detailed and simple as you can. You need to make sure that the content is high on factors such as expertise, trust, and authority. First of all, you need to make sure that you are answering the question of a user the best way.
Importance of Keywords in SEO
Well, the emphasis in this day and age has shifted from keywords to queries. As has already been emphasized above, you need to make sure you are answering the query of your user the best way.
No longer is it all about jamming keywords in the content. It is all about answering the questions that are posed by these keywords. When we use the word keyword we tend to make some crucial mistakes. We neglect the long-tail keywords that are so valuable and focus on the head terms only. A keyword does not mean a single word. It could be as long as 20 words as well.
A few words on BERT as well as Google and its history vis-à-vis keywords
BERT is the latest effort of Google to improve its understanding of the human language. Thanks to the levels of artificial intelligence that it uses Google can understand even the most difficult search queries. This is impressive, without a doubt. However, this should not surprise you as such. This is because Google has been making concerted efforts in the last decade to achieve better results in this context. Panda, introduced in 2011, was the first effort of Google towards this goal.
The importance of the medium and the goal
You need to know how your audience is searching for information on Google. This would help you write the answers to those questions in the most natural way. You have to make sure that the whole process is happening naturally.
This would make sure that you are not stuffing the keywords, which is a strict no-no as per Google. You need to keep in mind that writing for people and writing for search are not contraventions of each other. Your audience is your goal and the search engine acts as the medium over here. You need to write following that.