Do Keywords Have a Future?

With SEO taking a dramatic change of direction over the past year (Panda, Venice and Penguin), we’ve seen endless articles ruminating over just about everything under the sun – except the impact the updates have had on keywords!  The apparent significance of keywords has slipped dramatically, which begs the obvious question: what is the future for keywords? In the past I’m sure you can remember some of the simplistic keyword techniques that were used to boost web page rankings. It was simply a matter of doing some keyword research, following the keyword density rule, inserting the magic words in the meta tags, title tags etc – and job done! Things have changed.  In a post-Penguin world, it looks like keywords may have slipped down the pecking order (if you’ll pardon the pun!). For a while now, it’s been clear that keywords are less of a ranking factor with Google.   The search engine has in fact stated that they no longer require keyword indicators. This has led many industry experts to believe context is now king. Another example of this can be seen in the recent Penguin update which has resulted in  penalising the over-optimisation of anchor text links. In other words, anchor text links using blatant, unnatural keywords have been made void and many sites have seen a dip in rankings because of this.     With ‘context’ now taking precedence, what are the alternatives? Put simply, all the copy on your site needs to be ‘natural’.    You really shouldn’t try to tailor your copy to suit Google’s algorithms.  It should be written in a ‘natural’ style where your carefully-researched... Read more...
On-Page Optimisation, has 2012 changed everything?

On-Page Optimisation, has 2012 changed everything?

2012 has been a mixed year for the SEO industry (depending on which colour hat you wear). For the white hatters (like us) 2012 has been a great year. With Venice, Penguin and regular Panda updates rolled out, we’ve seen over-optimised sites punished, search becoming that little bit more localised and spammers feeling the wrath of the Big G. With so much talk surrounding these updates focusing on links, spam and other off-page issues, little time has been taken to focus on best practice regarding on-page optimisation. Previously, this focused on a few key issues including design, calls to action, strong branding and web copy. Although these are good places to start when looking at on page optimisation, we really need to start looking outside the box. What’s changed? Put simply, Internet users have changed. In the past we didn’t have the sheer number of search results for queries; nor did we have the selection of visually appealing sites that are on offer today. We are constantly facing the challenge of being the “best”, but with so much competition, the bar has been raised to new heights. Another symptom of this change in user preference can be seen with the greater demand for social engagement and user generated content (UGC). Having a community surrounding your site is the key to success; it shows users that people are engaging with your company and builds a sense of trust. Search engines have also wised up to this change in user preference, introducing “Social Media Signals”, which they use to reward websites with large amounts of social media activity or “shares” pointing... Read more...