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Tree with Different Keywords

How the Art of Optimising Your Website Has Changed

As the algorithms used by Google become more refined and the results they yield become ever more relevant, the art of keyword optimisation has had to change. A company can no longer simply spam an article dozens of times with the same keyword and expect to get on top of page one of Google.

Updates such as Panda and Hummingbird means that good content and a much more holistic approach to keyword optimisation must be used to ensure successful results.

The Changing Landscape of Keyword Optimisation

So what exactly has changed in keyword optimisation over the years? Many changes have been made, from the small, to updates that have impacted search results as much as 7%.

When Google was much less refined, old keyword optimisation techniques were quite similar to what we would now refer to as Black Hat SEO techniques. Some of these included:

  • Meta description and meta keyword stuffing
  • Link farming
  • Doorway or gateway pages – fake pages stuffed with content solely designed to help businesses rank more highly.
  • Keyword stuffing

New and Improved Techniques for Keyword Optimisation

We’ve established that the above techniques tend to do a lot more harm than good for your website. So what should you be doing to get the most out of your keywords?

It goes without saying that you should be creating content that engages and entertains your audience. Great content makes up a huge part of the success of all SEO. However, when deciding on how its views the keywords used by a website, Google considers quite a few different things.

TD-IDF

Also known as term frequency – inverse document frequency. This looks at the frequency with which the keyword appears, compared to how often it is expected it will occur. This simply means that common words like ‘the’, ‘and’, and ‘when’ have a particualarly low TD-IDF. This is because they are so common. However, words like ‘Antarctica’ and ‘philosopher’ have a higher TD-DIF. They occur with much less frequency. Having a high TD-DIF won’t automatically boost rankings. When considered in line with other indicators of keyword optimisation it becomes relevant.

Synonyms and close variations

Gone are the days where a keyword had to be an exact match for it to count. Nowadays, Google algorithms becoming more refined. Many close variations can be used instead for keyword optimisation. Take the keywords: ‘Antarctica holiday’. They could also be phrased as ‘holiday to Antarctica’, ‘Antarctica travel’, ‘travelling to Antarctica’. These changes represent a huge leap in the quality of the content that can be generated. Content writers are no longer restricted by awkward or unnatural phrasing for their keyword matches. They are able to use language that flows much more naturally.

Term relationships and semantic distance

Term relationships and semantic distance refer to the ways in which terms and keywords interact. This is in paragraphs, sentences, HTML elements, and content in general. This refers to the way in which Google knows that ‘forest’ is a word that related to ‘pine tree’. This is an example of the two words being linked, even over several blocks of text. Generally the closer together the words are, the more likely it is they are going to be considered as linked. Words a sentence apart are more likely to be linked than words a paragraph apart.

The Changing Power of Keywords

The algorithms Google uses are being constantly updated so they become more and more complex. As a result, searches are able to identify high quality content and rank it more highly. Keyword optimisation is an integral part of ensuring your websites is ranking highly. Staying on top of the changes implemented, using trustworthy, organic techniques, and crafting content that is engaging, entertaining, and informative will help ensure your business continues to rank highly.

If you need a complete overhaul of your digital strategy, or even if you would just like some suggestions on where your business can improve, Punch Digital is always available for a chat. You can contact us at our website, or via phone or email.

Summary
Reviewer
Brett Hardiman
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Keyword Optimisation in 2014 Strategies to Consider
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4
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About The Author
Brett Hardiman is MD at SEO Melbourne Experts and a Search Engine Optimisation expert with over 15 years experience working with and advising businesses of all sizes on their internet marketing strategy.

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