When it comes to planning website SEO, the website team needs to consider a lot of elements in order to make the specific page pop up at the top of search results. One of the crucial aspects is the use of keywords in the text of the page. In the years since the beginning of internet use, the handling of keywords has gotten more and more sophisticated.
The origins for the use of keywords comes out the indexing of academic writing. Scholars of all sorts would use certain recognizable words to assist in presenting the structure of their discussions. In addition to that, as the work of librarians included preparing ways to categorize works, certain terms became important for helping users find specific types of works. In library cataloging, there were groupings called “subject headings” which would be used to indicate the areas of knowledge a book might cover.
Subject headings for library entries might be something like “Fishing, Sport” and “Fishing, Commercial.” In the pre-digital age, the card catalog would have individual cards for every book that was about Sport Fishing gathered together, so that the user could do a quick review of whether that book would help them find the information they wanted. Likewise, if the user wanted to know about the business of commercial fishing, or the types of fish caught, or what kind of boats and ships were used, the subject heading of “Fishing, Commercial” would help them find those volumes in the library.
Early meta tags for internet websites did much the same job that library subject headings did in the old card catalogs. They provided the early search engines with information concerning what a particular webpage was about. Unfortunately, as website designers realized this was a way to attract attention to their websites, they found ways to trick the site-reading robots into categorizing their site as important in a particular subject (even if the site had nothing to do with the subject).
One old trick was to plaster the page with meta tags for popular search terms in white letters underneath the material they actually were putting forward. The search spiders would read the white letters that were invisible to the human users and so include the page in searches for those words. Fortunately, the search engines have become even more sophisticated, and that trick (falling into the category of “gaming the system”) has become frowned upon. Don’t do it if you want to rank well with the search engines.
The latest advances in the programming for search engines have made it so that the search robot can actually read page content. The text can be analyzed for grammar and intelligible sequencing. This makes the creation of coherent, intelligent and informative web content all the more important. Current search engines look for material that is not copy and pasted from some recognizable source. Instead, they look for texts that are original and unique, that address specific topics with fresh approaches.
For those concerned about improving the content of their webpages, turning to experts who have studied and kept up to date with search engine practices can help them improve their page rankings. SEO marketing experts can spot where a website’s text presentations can be cleaned up and made attractive to the search engines. Knowing how to use keywords can be crucial for a health web-presence.
Robert Portillo is the founder of Nimbus Marketing. Nothing satisfies him more than expressing his thoughts well. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. He can often be found at local farmer’s markets, hiking trails, and the beach.