SEO Basics – Content is King
So, acting upon the advice of your precocious niece you rewrote the content of your web page, seeking the Holy Grail of keyword density. The search engines will love us now, Martha. Well be on the first page of Google in no time at all! So, weeks go by — months even — and still no results and you have to wonder whats going on, especially when you made sure that you had a keyword density of at least 50% for your top 10 keywords!
Search engines prefer to return results that are most relevant to the search query presented to them. Believe it or not, that has always been their modus operandi, their raison d'être. (Anyone reading this at the breakfast table who has been in the SEO game for awhile will be choking on their cornflakes by now — from laughing at how easy it used to be to rank high by feeding the search engines anything but relevant content). But it really is the gods truth, as they say. Its just that, in the early days, they lacked the sophistication that exists today. Using the simple criteria associated with keyword Meta tags and keyword density, they ordered their results accordingly. And based on such simple criteria, the SEO community had a field day.
Those simple days are gone. Sophisticated algorithms have brought a substantially new challenge to the world of SEO, while at the same time significantly improving the quality of the search results. So these days if you are looking to capture that coveted spot as the most relevant result in Google for a particular search term, then your actual content (the stuff your visitors can read) actually has to be relevant to the searcher's request. Imagine that — something more than Meta tags and even more than keyword density! Keyword stuffing - even "relevant" keyword stuffing just does not cut it anymore.
Think of the Meta tags as a request form, which you fill out to politely ask the search engines to consider your web page as relevant to certain keyword phrases. You tell them, "Here I am and this is what I would like to be found for when searchers come knocking on your door." Thats all well and good but once a search engine finds the key phrase within the Meta tags, it will then crawl through the actual content of your site to verify your claim. This content is found within the body section of your html document and it is what a visitor to your site also sees. If that content is rich in that keyword phrase, then there is a good chance your page will be returned to a searcher and at a higher ranking that other pages that are less enriched. In other words, the value of your content will be determined by its relevancy to the searcher for the particular search phrase. On the other hand, if it is repeated excessively then it can very likely be flagged by the search engines as keyword stuffing and your web page instead of being ranked will be penalized.
So, whats the answer? Remember that there is more to rankings than Meta tags and simple keyword density and although there are other factors besides web page content, content is king. Fill your page with relevant, meaningful content. Write for your target audience as well as for the search engines. Give them both a reason to come to your page and stay on your page — and yes, even return to your page! Ask yourself, would I want to read this stuff? Does this content inform the reader, provide the reader with material that is unique, entertaining or relevant? In a nutshell, is your content worth reading? If not, then you should not expect to get a ranking from any search engine with a sophisticated content algorithm. Hey, the nineties are gone — and its for the better!