Keywords – Are They Still a Huge Factor?


Everyone wants you to add a million keywords to the article that you are writing. The article looks like a bunch of incoherent sentences which lose almost all meaning. Oh boy, here we go again… But, are those people misinformed on how SEO and Google work today, as well as other search engine algorithms? Probably, as keywords are not as big of a deal as they used to be, even though they still matter to a degree. Here is how they affect your sites today.

They are Still Somewhat Important

Long tail keywords have always been important and they still are, but to a degree. You need to insert them in the title of your article as well as in the meta descriptions. Their importance kind of wears off after a while, because the algorithms behind the search engines no longer take into account the number of keywords as a positive thing. Ranking is done on a different basis now. The importance of keywords has diminished, the reasons for that being abuse and innovation.

Hummingbird – Bane of Many, Savior of Many

Hummingbird is the name of Google’s underlying search engine algorithm. Released in 2013, it made a lot of people unhappy, and even more people happy. Hummingbird no longer took the number of keywords as a good thing, gut rather a bad one, if the article’s semantic value has dropped due to it. Keywords only became a part of what made your site rank higher and lower.

The other factors used to determine ranking are ease of use, readability, quality, shares, inbound and outbound traffic and even design. All of these things affect the ranking of your site and keywords are just a small part of that now.

Semantics Matter Now

Semantic search is something which Google uses more than regular keywords. When someone searches for something, your article is scanned and the keywords and the entire text is compared to the search terms, and if something relevant which is related to the query is found, then the results are displayed. An example would be graphics cards and GPUs, as well as guitars or shredding axes. You would get similar results, but perhaps from different sites. 

Keywords Will Matter For a While more

Google is upping their AI game with semantic search doing the work for you. Your articles’ success will depend on the content much more than on the keywords. The algorithms have started treating keyword plays and keyword abuse very seriously and thus lower the rank of such articles and sites.

Keywords still matter, but only to an extent. Content and semantics are much more important, as well as other factors which contribute to your site’s success. Get off the keyboard train!