Do keywords still matter in 2016 SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation made easy with these top tips

There used to be a time when keywords mattered a lot but in the modern day era, search engines no longer pay any attention to it. How did this happen? When did keyword meta begin losing its lustre?

What you need to know about search engine optimisation

Back in the 2000s microsite managers were busy minting money with keyword stuffing all over their pages than take the effort to cough up usable content because of the way Google’s SEO algorithm worked. The formulae could never have been this simpler:

  • Spot a neglected niche using keyword research
  • Pump up that niche keyword across a microsite
  • Use the search result generated traffic and divert it to other websites.
  • And it starts all over again!

But then Google sends in the Panda to do the dirty work and everything blows to smithereens! The microsite method of keyword stuffing took a huge hit and no matter what they tell you, SEO never remained the same again.

Let's return back to the present.

The modern adaptation of the search engine game has been given a drastic, much needed revamp. Google’s newer updates have ensured that the hunt for keywords remain less relevant and rather focus on enriching content that the user deserves.

Its algorithms have gotten so powerful that it can decipher the meaning behind the words in your pages and hunt for relevancy that any customer’s query may pose. Your site may show up as a result for a query that your pages may not even be focusing on!

Google has upgraded its game for the good.

It's not just that SEO has changed, but the fact remains that unless you update your strategies, your traditional SEO tactics is more likely to land you in knee deep trouble than search result rankings.

Here are three ways in which SEO has transformed:

1- More emphasis on page authority than keywords

With over 200 ranking algorithms, Google churns out results based on your websites authority than your keywords. The search engine pays close attention to your website's inbound links, outbound links, content quality, site design, efficiency and ease of use, social media shares, and so on.

SEO matters to keep yourself in the race as others would be competing to stay in the race. If you are capable of being a thought leader, Google will find you.

2- Niche keywords- long tail and short tail

We have all come across these two keywords- short tail and long tail. You can utilise words that are more likely targeted at specific folks and their search queries, and bingo! You get traffic. Well, that used to work.. Until now.

Google has switched gears to what it calls “Semantic search” to figure out the unsaid words in your site.

Suppose you own a cafe in Williamsburg, which is quite popular for its affordable coffee. But you never use “affordable coffee” as a keyword as you don't want to sound cheap and dissuade potential premium customers. Google’s latest gig will figure out your popularity and authority and let you rank in “affordable coffee in williamsburg” results.

3- Keywords still are important, but…

SEO does matter- to a certain extent in the modern era of Google’s updates. It's important for long term keywords to find its way into your site’s content and meta but only to a certain extent. But the frequency doesn't matter. Not anymore. You can't stuff a particular keyword when it isn't necessary because Google will see right through your ploy.

So all you can do is just make the content look enjoyable and let the user find you.


Angel Seo is a SEO service optimizer based in Houston, USA. For more insightful articles, stay tuned in for our blogs on the latest relevant topics in the world of Content Marketing.


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