How Does Google Use Keywords to Determine Relevance on Your Pages

There are lots of factors that go into determining where your pages rank in the Google search results, at last count in excess of 200 and climbing. And mind you, this is only a guess, using the available empirical evidence SEO’s and webmasters have been able to divine from looking intently behind the curtain.

There are at this count more than 200 items that play a part in the Google search algorithm, and keyword relevance is one that we’d like to focus on here. We feel that keywords, while only a factor, influence the remainder of the ranking in many ways. In a way, it’s where everything starts.

In a search world not so long ago and far away, you could get top rankings just by stuffing as many of your primary keywords into your content as you could reasonable fit. Not any longer. These days Google’s search algorithm has gotten smarter, and is able to discern a lot more intent, and recognizes keyword stuffing instantly.

No longer. Google’s search algorithm is now so advanced it takes into account a large number of different aspects to determine where to place your page. Let’s have a look at how keywords affect this now.

How keywords fit into your search rankings

Shaping your page content to focus on a particular keyword ranking is something of an art. Often times the domain name may have little to nothing related to the keyword in question, and that is one reason keywords in domain names are no longer the signal they used to be.

Today having the keyword in your URL, title tag, H1-5 headings and sprinkled judiciously throughout the content is the best way you can help your cause.

What keyword tactics to avoid

There are several ways you can shoot yourself in the foot in this respect as well. Keyword stuffing, that aforementioned relic of yesteryear, is but one.

Another way is through the improper use of anchor text in your site’s backlinks. Having all the backlinks for a particular page show up with the same anchor text, and all be followed links, is a sure red flag in this current algorithm. Go for as natural a link profile as you can build, and vary your anchor text with natural phrases that would occur, such as a few “click here” and such.