For as long as I can remember, keywords and keyword ranking have always been at the centre of any searches we make on Google and other search engines. They have been the backbone of any effective SEO strategy for a long time, and still is for a majority of people who aim to get better rankings for their websites.
However, with Google’s decision to implement a policy that focuses more on content over keywords, that simply is not the case any more. If anything, a website owner who wants more search engine success should no longer spend a lot of time, energy and effort on keyword ranking. Here are some reasons why keyword ranking is not what you should focus on these days.
Content over keywords
Google has encrypted all user search activity
With the exception of paid ads, all user search activity on Google is already encrypted, which means businesses no longer have the ability to identify the exact keywords entered by any user to reach their page. While this is essential extra protection for searchers, it is bad news for online businesses that have captured users and created leads using keyword activity over the years.
Content over keywords: Keywords are not as well-rewarded as good content
The bane of the SEO industry for so long is the fact that sites that have miserable content still manage to top Google searches because of highly optimised and targeted keywords. With Google’s latest move, however, that is no longer the case. The search engine giant now rewards websites with good content, as it uses the relevance of that content when determining its ranking overall. It’s content over keywords these days, and that isn’t likely to change.
Google has prioritised video in its search criteria
In case you haven’t noticed, videos are usually at the top of the search results for any search term you enter. That’s because Google has been giving them preferential treatment during searches, 60 per cent of which are actually for video.
That being said, your chances of appearing on Google’s first page have become significantly better if you add videos to your pages. Videos, which are shared more than any other medium, are now a more important tool for your SEO efforts than traditional keywords. However, you should make sure that the videos you post are not some random clips, but are engaging, informative and entertaining content for your audience.
What we’re all really saying here is that in line with the most recent changes Google has implemented, anyone who wants to rank better should focus more on posting great content instead of just relying solely on the power of the targeted and optimised keyword. And by great content, we mean not just excellently-written articles, but interesting and informative photos and videos as well.
The way Google is carrying on with its updates—and we can only expect many more to come in the foreseeable future—the need to focus on keywords to achieve better rankings in the search engines will only become less and less as the years go by. We have to prepare for that, and not focusing on keyword ranking today would certainly be a good place to start.