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A recent post on social media marketing got me thinking. It stated keyword research no longer had any relevance, that it was old and outdated, and should ignored. Were they right? Or is market and keyword research still relevant, and if so, how should it be used in today’s online environment? Obviously, numerous things have changed within the last couple of years. Listed below are three of the most basic factors:

Google released their Penguin and Panda updates that fought back against shady SEO practices including content which had been over-optimized for particular keywords, and backlink profiles that have been too heavy on the utilization of keyword linking. Google moved all their searches to HTTPS, with all the result that searches were encrypted and webmasters were will no longer able to see which keywords had led a specific visitor to thir site.

Google released their Hummingbird update, which meant search engine results were more consistent with the user’s intention, rather than the exact keyword they had entered.

The general effects were the following:

It had been now harder to ascertain the potential profit of various keywords, and for that reason things to optimize content for. It became harder to obtain content ranked through keyword optimization, and over-optimization works against you. However, it didn’t mean, as much people still believe, that keyword research and optimization was past its use-by date, and of no further relevance.

Sure, there are many other elements now at play, like social media marketing signals … but it doesn’t follow that keywords are now out from the mix completely. It just means you now have to work harder to create great content that offers real value, that people may wish to share.

The only people really hurt by the changes which can be as Google had intended were people creating valueless, non-original, poorly articles on the cheap to behave as internet search engine fodder to artificially boost rankings. We need to all be thankful such activities are largely behind us.

If you want to rank now, your articles best be worthwhile. But you still have to help Google as well as other search engines like google know what your content is all about. Along with your focus should now be on utilizing Google, rather than attempting to battle against their latest update to obtain your content artificially high. This type of approach is much more positive for the business long term, and holds less risk. In a nutshell, at this point you have to:

(a) Create quality content to begin with;

(b) Enable them to understand what your content is all about to enable them to rank it appropriately.

And this is precisely where niche research is available in. Ultimately, it’s about supply and demand. You determine the ratio involving the ‘demand’ (the numbers searching for particular keywords) and also the ‘supply’ (the volume of content available that already meets that need). Perform the research properly, focus your articles on one keyword as opposed to another, and you also increase the chances of you getting well-ranked, with increased visibility for your business as a result.

This aspect hasn’t changed. What has evolved is you need a different approach in contact us efforts. So it’s now a little more about using semantically-related terms than it is about placing a particular keyword in a specific position based on the latest formula you learn about.

You’re keeping it much more natural, while clearly indicating to Google what your site content pertains to. Building links for your content still matters too, despite what you could have heard. Again, you will find simply more factors within the mix, therefore the effect is more diluted than it once was. But that doesn’t mean it’s no more worthwhile. In fact, the exact opposite is valid if omvlyp wish to give your site content greater prominence than all of those other content on the market.

Once more, in building your links, don’t worry so much about the exact keyword you use to link back. Instead, use a multitude of related terms, in addition to more generic text, natural text including ‘click here’, your website name, and so on. The bottom line is really not to test way too hard. Enable the content speak for itself, but gently guide Google within the right direction.

To conclude, keyword research still matters and must be part of your internet marketing strategy. But it’s just one weapon within the arsenal, and merely portion of the story. Get too obsessive about keywords, as well as your content can lose a number of its allure that would otherwise attract readership. Remember you’re ultimately creating content to your readership give that the primary focus, and utilize keyword research as being an additional kick in the right direction.

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