Keywords: Relevancy and Keyword Density

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Keywords: Relevancy and Keyword Density

............How do they really work?

"Keywords" is a highly misunderstood term. There are actually two kinds a highly misunderstood term of keywords - the ones you see and the ones you don't see. You generate keywords when the write or choose material for your pages. They are the words that describe your product, business, service, locale, etc.

The second type, hidden from view in a meta tag, are a shortcut for many search engines, and have to be taken from the page's content. They are different for each page, and are detailed below.

Keywords in a Metafile, in the code section of your page, are a super fast way for some " web bots " and "web agents" to find your topic. But just having these words in the <head> section of your page isn't enough - they're just clues, telling the search engines where to start looking. Keyword metafiles are search engine shorthand!

Google Disregards Keyword Metafiles - so should you?

Google doesn't use them but Bing does. There are rumors that Yahoo secretly stopped using them. However, Bing definitely does and Yahoo "SERP" positions are nearly always close to Bing positions. The logical deduction is - they use the same metrics for search ranking.

It is unclear how many search engines still use keyword metafiles. Google has an 88.21%  share of all search traffic in the United States - that only leaves 11.79%  divided between the rest. A small share yes, but it could be that extra little edge.

If properly done keyword metafiles are a boon to some search engines. Keyword metafiles discontinuance by some search engines is due to prior abuse. I once overhauled a site that had 16,000 keywords (not a type-o) on each page.

If you're doing so well you don't need any other search engine but Google - don't use keyword metafiles!

A poll showed about 50% of developers and designers still employ them. And I guarantee you, most do it wrong. However, here's my slant on it -
  • Google doesn't use them, neither do they penalize you for having them - unless you commit Keyword Spam!
  • Duane Forrester of Bing webmaster outreach - "I'll make this statement: Meta keywords is a signal. One of roughly a thousand we analyze. Getting it right is a nice perk for us, but won't rock your world. Abusing Meta keywords can hurt you"
  • Keep keywords to no more than 25. Commas are up in the air. Connective words like the, and, for, etc are clutter.
  • Don't use the same word more than a couple of times
  • Keywords in the metafile MUST appear on that page - therein the term "Keyword Relevancy" (do they 'Relate' to content on that particular page?).
  • That means - this tag is page specific - not site specific!
  • Google gets secondary search results from Yahoo, Yahoo uses keyword metafiles - logic says, Google indirectly uses keyword metafiles in this case.
  • SUMMARY: If you don't know how to use the keywords Meta Tag correctly - leave it alone!

Keywords Keywords can occur in the code AND in on-page content - a higher number of keywords in your text copy that match the keyword metafiles, the greater the " keyword density" - see below -

Don't overdo it - too many keywords crammed together will get you slapped with "Keyword Stuffing" penalties.

Google Keyword popularity Tool Get better Search Engine Results - Click to Use the free Google Keyword popularity Tool << CLICK HERE >>

Selecting key phrases for your site can be like casino gambling - you are betting, odds on, that what you are using will be what the public will type in the search box. The reality may be quite different, This free Google tool is your own personal "Jimmy The Greek"!

Keyword Research: Since search engines use a "Match Game" approach, knowing what people actually type in the search box is absolute gold!

See how the keywords in your code interact with the keywords on your page:

keyword density

Keyword Metafiles

Yahoo and Bing still use them, and Google gets secondary search results from Yahoo! Below is a sample set of meta-keywords as they would appear in the source code

How meta tags appear in page code

If you use keywords metafiles - no more than 25 and they must all also appear on the page!


How do I choose the right keywords?

Keywords must respond to a search query like an answer to a question - for good organic search results.
The less variety of subjects on a single page, the more you can focus on your subject - ergo, acceptable "keyword density".

How do I pick the keywords that most optimize my page text copy?

RELEVANCY: Yahoo and Bing put great value on absolute on-page relevancy in the Keyword Metafile, in the head section of your pages. That is, keywords in the <metafile> section MUST appear in the page copy. If the keywords in the metafile don't appear on-page - that's considered spam!

They have to relate to your product or organization, so write down the most important keywords (delete "the", "and", etc like above) and use the free Google tool to find the popularity of the words or phrases. It will give you a list of many combinations of your words and how many times they are regularly searched.

You can't increase page rank by using popular keywords that have no relevancy to your page.  It will actually hurt your page rank.

We will do the rest. We will create the code "under the hood" that will tie all of this together and make your web site "search friendly".

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