When it comes to SEO, what does Google want?
The goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to increase your search results ranking. Generally, this is geared around Google searches, as they dominate the search engine market. But SEO can work for any search engine because it simply incorporates keywords into your content, and your site ranks based on these keywords and other factors.
But it’s important to remember that Google itself is not necessarily looking for keywords. The goal for Google is to find relevant results. The reason that Google owns the largest part of the market share is because the platform has been easy to use and proven effective over the years. As long as consumers get results that are satisfactory to them, the model works. So it is more about relevance than it is about the technical number of keywords on any page or other such specifics.
How does Google determine if content is relevant?
There are many different things that are considered when looking at relevance. It does start with keywords, as these inform the search engine that the term the user is looking for is found on that site. But that is just the very first step.
For example, Google claims to use anonymous “interaction data” when determining if the site is relevant or not. This examines how other users have interacted with that page. If the page has a very high bounce rate, for example, that could indicate that the content is not relevant to the reader, even though it has the right keywords in it. Conversely, if the content has very long dwell times, that indicates that readers are interested in what they have found and have concluded their search. That’s the type of interaction that Google wants to create, regardless of the specific content itself.
And that is why the strict number of keywords is less important than the relevance of the authoritative content. How useful is it to the reader? Does it give them what they are looking for? Does it answer their questions? Readers themselves may have an idea of the content they want to find, even if they are not typing in perfect keywords. Google tries to bridge this gap. The algorithm attempts to determine what the user really wants when they type in the keywords and then connects them with a site that provides them with the right information, beyond those mere keywords.
One site could have very limited, poorly-written content but 100 instances of the keyword the user entered. Another could have just one or two instances of that keyword, but it may provide helpful information with authoritative links and a web of related pages offering more details. Google would attempt to connect the user with the second page, even with fewer keywords.
Optimizing your site
At Content Customs, we are constantly studying the newest and best search engine optimization methods. Please get in touch with us at your earliest convenience if you would like to learn more about how we can help your site increase its search ranking and attract a larger audience.