I have been reading quite a bit on this topic lately, trying to learn more.
I have learned quite a bit about what they are, and where/how many times they should be placed.
My new question is, must they appear in the exact same sequence as in the title and the list of tags, or will they be picked up anyway simply by being in the sentence?
E.g.: "How To Teach an Old Dog New Tricks" as a title;
the 1st capsule titled as, "Teaching Tricks to Older Dogs";
the 1st sentence therein reading along the lines of,
"Just because your dog is getting old does not mean he is unable to learn new tricks, anymore than you yourself cease to learn due to advancing years."
Will that be picked up in the search engines, or must I stick to exactly quoting the sequence of words in the title for the 1st capsule and its first sentence? (IMO, that would be annoying repetitiveness for the reader.)
Thanks for any help.
this is a good question and one i am trying to improve myself...I'll be
watching for answers
It's always good to have your exact keyword within your content but you do not need to do it intentionally. Write it with the intention for readers to read and benefits readers instead of search engines. Relevance is point, not keyword stuffing.
If you are writing and keep thinking "Will the search engine understand?" instead of "Will the reader benefit?", then you're doing it wrong. There's no point serving the search engine as they are just bots crawling data. When it truly benefits readers, it will then bring the greatest and longer lasting value.
Also you'll need to understand the main title of your hub is a <h1> tag and subsequent capsule titles are <h2> tags. Search engines do takes your keywords from header tags into considerations because these are titles. These are what you're going to talk about in your content.
You're right! Just be yourself, don't be annoying with repetitive keywords that make readers get irritated.
"How to teach an old dog new tricks"
A search will certainly pick up "teach an old dog new tricks", "teach new tricks", "teach dog tricks", "old tricks" and similar things.
To a much lesser extent it will pick up "dogs teach tricks" or "tricks teach dog".
Best if you can string the words together in the proper order, even with extra words between them.
Ah, thank you very much, wilderness. That helps a great deal.
I think it would be best to use the keywords in the title, 1st capsule and its first sentence, twice in the body of the text and in the last paragraph in a variant closest to your targeted keywords.
The title of your first capsule in the example above could be "Teaching Tricks to Old Dogs", but I think the first sentence isn't structured well concerning the keywords you're aiming.
I wouldn't suggest dividing the keywords with more than one or two words (if they are functional words like in, a, the, etc i.e. words without real value to search engine crawlers).
The position of words in the sequence counts; the more words you put between them, the less value they have as a keyword phrase. All the other variations you've mentioned above can and should be used as latent semantic content (words closely associated with your keywords). Latent semantic content helps you to avoid that repetitiveness which may be annoying for the reader.
I would write the first sentence as follows:
"Just because your canine pet is getting old, that doesn’t mean you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, anymore than you yourself cease to learn due to advancing years."
"Canine pet" wasn't in the thesaurus as a synonym, but it crossed my mind so I checked the results for this word; it's a popular keyword referring to dogs and all things related to dogs. Hope this helps.
Anyway, I'll be keeping my eye on this post because I'm also interested in what others have to say
Just wanted to correct myself in the sentence above (it should have been written without "that"):
"Just because your canine pet is getting old doesn’t mean you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, anymore than you yourself cease to learn due to advancing years."
Thanks for the input. Little by little, I'm getting the hang...but can only absorb so much at a time. I have a tendency to get overwhelmed.
FWIW, search engines -- especially Google -- have been taking into account synonyms and related phrases for about 3 years now. Exact phrase matching is fine, but for example, if you Google "mobile phones," most of the results actually have "cell phones" highlighted as the keyword instead.
For another example, Googling "archery" turns up search results on page one with "archer" highlighted in bold in the search snippet, meaning Google knows that word has enough overlap with "archery" that somebody searching for one would also be searching for the other.
That means that on the one hand, you don't have to worry about exact phrase matching, and may even be better served by using a cluster of vocabulary related to your topic. Research to learn what words people use when looking up or talking about your topic. Make your vocabulary list. Then use them naturally where and when appropriate. Don't get hung up on density or repetition or fine-tuning it too much, or you'll start sounding funny to your readers who come first.
On the other hand, it also means that we can't own a long-tail phrase as easily as we used to. I could at one point get a page to pull in great search traffic by titling it "What's in a hot dog?" with the url whats-in-a-hot-dog and a graphic named whats-in-a-hot-dog.jpg. But that's silly. It doesn't prove my page on hot dogs is any better quality than anyone else's. Now a page named "What are hot dogs made of?" could dominate search results for "What's in a hot dog?"
That's discouraging, but it's also liberating. I recently did a study of two articles getting 1200+ visits a week and found that for both of them, about 95% of their search traffic arrived via unique search phrases. I'd managed to optimize for a topic, rather than one exact phrase. I did it by using the lingo -- the constellation of words and phrases -- that readers commonly associate with that topic. And I did it by using them like paintbrushes instead of rubber stamps. I don't know if that metaphor makes sense, but if you see an article where people are just plugging in keywords to plug in keywords, that's rubber stamping with keywords as opposed to painting.
Just wanted to say, thank you Greekgeek for another enlightening and informative post. I am learning from reading the posts you have made here.
The way you explain things makes sense to me and I can understand it. Where as sometimes I read 'jargon' about search engines and how they work and the meaning of it is lost on me.
When I first started out with having my own website and blogging, I did not really understand keywords.
Since then, I have learned a few things that I know Google pays attention to. Your exact keyword/phrase should be in your title, first header, and 1 to 2 times in the first and second paragraphs. After that, using variations to your keyword throughout the article is good.
The trick is having it pleasant to read, and still please the search engines. both are important. I have a tool on one of my websites that helped me learn how important it can be to stick EXACTLY to the keyword/phrase in the important sections.
If I varied even an 's' on a word, or had a 'the' in one and not the other, etc. it would show up in red, saying I did not have my keyword in it. It is a very useful tool that helps me stay on track.
Again, the tool is not human, and judges everything technically. But if you think about it, the Google bots are not human either, and will also judge you technically. So, it is best to give them what they are lookin for! They have the power to rank or not to rank us, sad to say!
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