Why It’s Time To Rethink Keywords.


The other day I read a new article, written by a friend who I think of as having significant experience and knowledge in content SEO, where they stressed how essential keywords were to a blog’s success.

But they aren’t the only one emphasizing this strategy. There are copious, almost never-ending, articles that are still stressing this same point.

And they’re all wrong!

Yes, it’s true, keywords have become secondary in today’s sophisticated SEO and SERPs. In fact, HubSpot has completely retired its keywords tool.

Here’s what Search Engine Watch says on this topic, “They (keywords) can be helpful in small doses and with strategic inclusion, but there are more powerful factors out there.”

We all know that keyword stuffing, or using the same keyword multiple times, is unnatural and shunned, sometimes even deindexed, by the search engines.

Even the top two most downloaded WordPress SEO plug-ins, WP all-in-one-SEO and Yoast both suggest not using keywords.

Today’s algorithms are smart and getting smarter by the day. They know how to detect unnatural keyword placement, decipher synonyms, and even look for natural language.

One type of keyword that is still relevant, to a point, are long tail keywords. Four to five words long are suitable for a long-tail keyword.

But more specifically, phrases that are like real people’s search inquiries, in real people language, are what the search engines are looking for.

Also, there are many more significant things that will affect your content’s ability to rank well.

The most important thing that we need to keep in mind at all times is user intent. “What does a real person want to know about my business or product?”

If you stay focused on this goal, organize your content around this question, and create content that always helps answer this question, you’ll never go wrong.

Here Are Some of the other (real) top ranking factors;

-HTTPS (a necessity)

-Site speed

-Mobile optimization

-Quality (not too filled with ads or excessive links etc.) content.

-Author’s expertise, (credentials) -This is a relatively new factor that came into effect during Google’s August 2018 update. It seems to have only affected health-related websites so far.

I really think too many people spend too much time trying to decipher Google’s intentions. SEO and rank aren’t half as complicated as the SEO companies would have you believe. Don’t forget it’s these companies business to make money off people’s SEO questions and concerns, so be wary.

I’ve watched some videos with John Mueller myself, and he must have fantastic patience because so often it seems that everyone is asking the same questions over and over again or they’re trying to find hidden meaning behind every simple statement.

Very silly.

Overall, always, and as I’ve said many times over the years, trust is still the top consideration to always keep in mind. Are your site and the content in it trustworthy, is the big question. 

Do you have any thoughts on this topic? Are you still using keywords and what type are you using?

11 thoughts on “Why It’s Time To Rethink Keywords.”

  1. Hey Amanda,

    Great article regarding keywords. In today’s digital space the competition is very high to rank for specific keyword because every one is doing the same. So that choose long tail keyword for your site because it has less traffic and you will rank your site easily.

    Thank you for the article.

    Have a great day!

    Best wishes,
    Dharmik Babariya

  2. Hi Amanda,

    Lisa shared your post on her latest blog post and I’m so glad I did! Thanks for you for sharing this with us. You are right about all the key-word related articles, heck I have a couple myself, lol. 🙂

    But you are right about smarter algorithms and we have to go with the flow as things change. I’ve been using more long tail keywords but I’m also using more search phrases and normal language like you suggested.

    What did give me a light bulb moment was putting together a list of phrases that is searched for in my niche – thank you for that idea!

    I’m so glad I came by and I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog posts. No doubt I’m passing this along!


    • Thanks so much, Cori, I’m so glad that you found my article helpful. (Huge thanks to Lisa for linking to me, She’s amazing!)
      And yes, isn’t it super helpful to know the phrases that are relevant to your niche, it makes creating content so much easier.
      Thanks for dropping by, I appreciate it. have a great day. 🙂

  3. I think it’s pertinent to talk about keywords, but not to excess. When I used to do website and SEO work, one of the first things I did was look at someone’s homepage to see if it told people what they did. It was amazing that the majority didn’t do that; that’s where good SEO comes into play.

    As it pertains to anything else, I still think keywords are important, but they shouldn’t go out of their way to get to those keywords to the extent that the language looks awkward. Personally I spend no time on keywords when I’m writing, although I like to make sure people know what I’m addressing.

  4. Hi Amanda, I love that keywords are now done more naturally. I’m so glad the old days of black hat SEO are over. I’m working on updating some of my old articles in using more long tail keywords with words that people would use when searching for topics.
    Thanks for sharing about this with some tips, have a great day!

  5. I do like long tail keywords, I have done for a long time. I do think that the emphasis on keywords is too much. You get blogs and articles that do not read well as the author seems to have blatantly based it around half a dozen keywords. As you point out, think like the user, that for me is where the long tailed keywords are and you don’t have to write the content based around 2 or 3 sentences. A great book I have read is By Chris Anderson called The Long Tail. It’s a few years old now, but was a major influence.

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