Is Keyword Density Still a "Thing"? | Exults
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    January 15, 2018 by Lindsey Smith

    Whether you consider yourself to be pretty savvy about search engine optimization (SEO) or you’re new to the concept, you may have more than a few questions about keywords. Long considered critical components of SEO, keywords once appeared at an average density of 2 to 3 percent. This means that there were on average 2-3 percent of keywords found on a Google search page compared to ‘other words’ found on the page in the Title tags and Meta data. Keywords are still important factors in Google’s ranking algorithm, but shouldn’t necessarily be your only focus.

    Keywords Still Indicate Relevance

    First, you can rest assured that keywords still indicate relevance, which is one of Google’s main ranking factors. Good, accurate keywords have always helped Google determine whether your content is relevant to an internet user’s search, and they still do. The main difference is that keyword relevance (Page rank) isn’t the only ranking factor now. Google’s algorithm uses over 200 factors to rank your website. Now Google uses a mixture of content quality, inbound links, outbound links, social media shares, website navigation, site speed and much more to determine your authority.

    Google No Longer Requires Exact Match Keywords

    In the past, content marketing strategists would typically strive to identify specific niches by targeting keywords and incorporating them as much as possible throughout the text. After the Google Hummingbird update, the search engine moved away from exact match keywords. Google is becoming smarter and more human making it easier for the search engine to understand natural language and not only specific keywords. Repeating keywords over and over is no longer useful and will actually devalue your content or deem it less trustworthy. It’s actually more helpful to gear your content toward what is natural to read and how a user would search it on their mobile device. Longtail keywords are still helpful in Meta Data, title tags and throughout the content, but it’s more important to focus on the relevance of your content and it reading in a natural way.

    Keyword Placement May Matter More

    Exact match keywords may no longer be necessary, but helping Google and other search crawlers determine the intent of your content as quickly as possible will almost certainly help your page. Placing relevant keywords as high on the page as possible, such as in the title, description, and introduction, is likely to be more important than keyword density. When Google indexes your site, having relevant keywords in the titles of your main pages, in headers and h2s and in alt tags will definitely make your site more identifiable and easier to crawl for Google.

    Search engine optimization is always changing and Google will continue to update it’s algorithm, therefore, it’s important to stay on top of any industry updates and how to make sure your website is adapting as soon as possible. If you’re unsure of how to tackle your website’s SEO, contact Exults for all your SEO needs.

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