Roll the calendar back 5 years and compare the SEO practices which were acceptable “or shall I say we could get away with” then compared to the techniques that will incur a swift penalty from Google now!
Yes the rules of engagement have changed drastically especially the way in which we embed keywords to optimise content. Use to many short tail keywords in your copy and you might as well put a gun to the side of your head and pull the trigger, because that’s exactly what your client is going to want to do to you when their precious website starts to drop like a sack of bricks. This leaves us with long tail keywords and I do mean “very” long tail.
For years we’ve drummed it into the heads of new SEO’s “make sure that you embed the most important keywords inside the first paragraph but now a safer and I personally believe more effective technique is to split the keyword phrase into two parts. Example if, your primary keyword phrase contains two words put the first word in the H1 title and the second word within the first 125 characters of the first paragraph of the body text. Google bot is a hundred times more intelligent than it was back in the day the, algorithm will see the first keyword in the H1 title and then match it with the second keyword provided that its location in the body text is not too far away. Bearing in mind that the content should be written with a view to be interesting and engaging to real humans and not written to satisfy the search engines, by breaking your keyword phrases up and spacing them out the chance of the copy attracting a negative score from Google’s Hummingbird algorithm is greatly reduced.
Unfortunately this method of content optimisation does not yield positive gains as quickly as the old short tail methods however, it does work and it’s totally white hat which means unless you really go OTT your website will gain positions in the SERP’s.
About The Author:
Charles Brown is Director of Online Acquisition at Gtec Media Ltd