In this SEO podcast episode, Rebecca talks about the growth of Semantic Search and the departure of keyword density. She breaks Semantic Search down into manageable pieces so marketers and webmasters can take advantage of this technology.
What is Keyword Density?
Keyword density refers to the percentage of times your focused keyword is used within your content.
The Math Behind It
- You have 100 words on a blog post and you used your focused keyword five times in the content.
- The keyword density on that post is got by simply dividing the total number of keywords, by the total number of words that appear on your post.
- The math is 5 divided by 100 = .05.
- Because keyword density is a percentage of the total word count on the page, multiply the above by 100, that is 0.05 x 100 = 5%
Does it Still Matter?
Ten years ago keyword density was very important. SEO consultants would carefully calculate the ratio of keywords to the total word count of a post or page. The idea was that there was some ideal keyword density of any page and that when a particular page reached this number, it would have a better chance of ranking for that specific keyword.
While keyword density is still used by many, the importance of it is greatly reduced and has been for years.
Today’s SEO is much more focused on Semantic Search and what happens within your content and the world around you. Google would much rather you create robust content that helps them fully understand who this content can help, then worry about outdated concepts like keyword density.
What is Semantic Search?
Semantic search is defined as a search for information based on the intent of the searcher and contextual meaning of the search terms. Instead of looking at just the term itself, Google attempts to interpret the user intent within the search and match this phrase to results based on content, trends, and prior activity.
What this really means: Google just got a whole lot smarter!
Semantic search seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding a searcher’s intent and how this intent relates to the world around it.
Semantic Search Factors
- Current trends (recent movie launch)
- Location of search
- Search intent (hot dog to eat vs. hot dog that needs shade)
- Word variations (singular, plural)
- Synonyms (small, tiny, minor, miniature)
- Generalized and specialized (MGM Grand and accommodations)
- Word groupings
- Related words
Takeaways from Today’s Podcast Episode
- You don’t need – or want – to create individual pages for each variation of a keyword phrase.
- Write and optimize content with keyword variations in mind.
- Augment your content for related phrases to help Google better understand intent and context:
- Food: taste, color, freshness
- Computer: cost, support, features, monitor, keyboard
- Company: founders, stock prices, headquarters, store locations
- Think long and hard about possible keywords.
- Think more about long-tail search phrases and less about one-word searches.
- Review Google search results for possible keyword phrases so you can see how Google interprets the user intent of a given phrase.
- Write for the human reader. Consider search engines, but remember the human reader is driving the need for semantic search.
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