14 Jan How important are Keywords in Search?
You will have an idea of what keywords people might use in the search engines to find your site. I’m sure you can think of six or seven straight off. Chances are there are thousands of websites all competing for those same keywords. So the job of Google and other search engines is to present a list of websites which are most relevant to the searcher.
Google does this using its infamous algorithm which takes account of numerous factors (not just keyword relevance), to present its list of most relevant sites.
One of the best ways to consider how you can present your site at the top of the search engines for a particular keyword search, is to think of what information Google has to go by when presenting its results. It really has only two: Keyword and ip address (which tells it where in the world the searcher is).
We will deal with how Google uses the ip address elsewhere. For now we are interested in how it uses the keyword.
Before we consider how Google uses the keyword in a search, it is important to conceptualise what it holds in its index. Basically speaking, the web is made up of millions of different web pages. Each of them distiguishable by a unique URL (web address). So whether a web page is fed from a database in a content management system, or whether it is a static html file, Google records each of them as a unique url, and stores information about them accordingly.
For the keyword, it prioritises its placement on the page according to where it appears. The most relevant place is in the page title. Google can tell the page title is because it is written between header tags, (i.e <h1>Page Title</h1>), yet these tags are hidden from us.
Another place of prominence which google takes account of, is the URL itself. So if you’re searching for “sheepskin coat” a relevent URL would be “http://www.outdoorclothes.com/sheepskin-coat”.
Keywords therefore carry significant importance in any website, and their placement on the page is key. The keyword you are targeting should appear once in the title of the page, and then again in the article body alongside a spattering of other keywords which we know Google associates with the target keyword.