2016 has unleashed a world of change for SEO keyphrases, and it’s all good.
First of all, stop counting your words.
Gone are the days of optimal word count and minimum characters, to get the most out of SEO keyphrases in 2016 you need to follow a few simple rules. You can almost hear the sighs of relief from content writers around the world as Google’s new search algorithm loosens it’s hold on the amount of text required to qualify for SEO integrity, and refocuses on quality. Of course, any good content writer worth their salt knew this already, but it’s inherently satisfying to have Google confirm a trend we all knew was coming: minimum length and key word stuffing is out, concise, search-relevant content is in.
So, what are the key trends we need to take into account for 2016?
Keyword density: relevant or not?
Finally, a conclusion. Keyword density, while still relevant, has been overtaken by Latent Semantic Indexing – and honestly, this is great news. LSI is a more natural and organic search algorithm which will give professional content writers the ability to write naturally about the topic in question without the need to actively place keywords. Yes, key phrases (and, to a certain extent, key words) are still important. They direct the search. LSI simply offers a more natural and intuitive context for the 2016 move towards intent-based online search.
So that leads us nicely into our next topic of conversation – what is intent-based search?
Intent-based search trumps direct search terms
Let’s take a moment to consider your own online search habits. When you need to find something or fix something or solve something, what do you type into Google? Is it a directed keyphrase? Perhaps something along the lines of ‘puncture repairs Northland’? Well, now imagine typing this phrase into Google, only to receive a bunch of search results with spammy content from competing companies, all containing that exact phrase in an attempt to gain your click-throughs. Google is clever. Panda – Google’s latest and greatest search algorithm, recognises isolated keyphrases and penalises websites for deliberate search trolling. How do you avoid this and ensure Panda doesn’t chew you up?
Latent Semantic Indexing. It’s easier than it sounds.
So LSI is a real thing. While Latent Semantic Indexing may sound like a party drug, this is actually a Panda initiative that ensures the surrounding content of your designated search term corroborates with that term. Sound confusing? It’s not. Let’s break it down: You choose a search term – say, ‘blue cotton t-shirts’. If your website is real, and has an honest intent to discuss blue cotton t-shirts, then the surrounding text will reflect this. How? With natural content! When we discuss ‘blue cotton t-shirts’ there is a high probability that this topic will include such surrounding words as ‘size’, ‘colour’, ‘quality’, ‘shape’, ‘design’, and ‘brand’. Panda will recognise this, and will reward those sites recognised as having genuine, user-relevant, quality content.
So are keyphrases relevant? Yes. But take great care to ensure your keyphrases are not inorganically stuffed into content, and that the surrounding content is relevant to your main search term.
What does all of this mean for you? Well, less is more again, and natural is best. With Panda we’re finally seeing a welcome shift towards the humanising of the online search process; and we like where this is going.
Want to know more, or need help with your online content? Contact the team at Wordperfect, we’re passionate about SEO content!