There’s also a common myth that an article’s search engine rank is determined by the number of times the keyword is used. There was a time—early in the history of the Internet—when this was partly true. But no more
If this were the case, all a website would have to do is have pages of nothing but keywords to up its search engine ranking. Search Engine Algorithms have done away with that method of cheating. Algorithms are too well written to fall for that—and many have built in sensors that penalize websites for trying to cheat.
Here are some other truths about Search Engines
- Nowadays, Search Engine Algorithms take words literally—and that can be good or bad
This doesn't mean we can't be clever—only that we have to be deliberate in where we're clever. Take that chili recipe, give it a title that can be searched literally, like Hot and Spicy Vegetarian Chili, but in the description use the clever tag line as too hot to handle.
This blog—The Write Conversation—is a clever play on words that works. The reason being I want this site to be searchable for the keyword “write” as well as be clever about educating writers as an ongoing “conversation.”
- Search Engine Algorithms also look for keywords.
Search engines read from the top of a webpage to the bottom, searching to see that important keywords are used throughout the page.
Here’s a good rule of thumb when determining keyword density
- Always use the keyword in the title.
- Repeat the keyword at least once in the first 50 words.
- Spread the use of the keyword naturally and evenly throughout the rest of the article. In a 400 word article that would mean using the keyword a minimum of three more times.
Let me know if you have any questions about writing for the Internet because next week I’ll be wrapping up this series.
Don't forget to join the conversation!