You’ve no doubt heard that big change is coming to the art of search engine marketing and optimization. The search engines are going to start relying more and more on semantic language and less and less on keyword density. Well, hold onto your hat. The future is now.
What I mean is, Google at least is already using semantic technology to analyze website content. No need to abandon the Big Dog for that little start up that promises to revolutionize the way people search for information. Google did that eons ago (well, OK, only 10 years ago, but it seems like eons).
But here’s the deal. While semantic search is alive and well in cyberspace, I wouldn’t throw out keywords entirely. They still have some benefit. And to answer that question rolling around in your mind: Yes, you can rank for search terms that don’t actually appear on your web page. But you’ll have a hell of a time trying to rank for those search terms by trying to write for semantic-loving robots. You’ll still want to “anchor” your content in keywords. In fact, here are a few places where you’ll definitely want to use specific keywords to achieve a specific search engine marketing initiative:
- Optimizing your photos with alt tags – How else are you going to tell the search engines what those photos are about?
- Anchor text – You’ve got a web page that is about milking cows and you want to link to it from another page on your website, use the keyphrase “milking cows” as your anchor text.
- Title tag – Optimize your Title tags with specific keywords.
- Keywords tag – Make sure a particular word appears on your web page a few times before you add it to your Keywords tag. Otherwise, the search engines will just ignore it.
- Heads and subheads – This is a great place to put your keywords so that they remain prominent on your page
Is semantic search a reality? Yes. But don’t kill your keywords just because Google is smart.