Search Engines and Relevance

It is only natural that webmasters continuously crave higher search engine rankings. After all, the closer your site is to the first entry in the search engine results page, the more chances you have of bringing on surfer traffic to your website.

The choice between proper website content composition and keyword saturation is a continuing dilemma that many web masters and internet marketers continue to mull over. Should the page of the site be designed specifically to enhance search engine results ratings or should the site’s pages contain proper and relevant content with regards to its existing purpose?

To be given a high search result ranking, the website must contain relevant information or content. This means that you can’t just jumble keywords together in a haphazard manner. You need to have quality content written down to describe your website and its contents. The search engine examines your website and all that it contains. The search engine will try to figure out if the keywords contained in your web pages are relevant to the user’s search parameters. For example, a user searches for the word “bird”. The search engine finds two websites with the word bird in it. The first website adds descriptions and additional information about the word bird.

The second website has the word bird, but it also contains other words like tiger, lion, zoo, seal all jumbled together in no particular order. Armed with this information, the search engine uses algorithms to determine which of the 2 sites has more relevance to the user’s query. In this case, the first website which has a descriptive article about “birds” is prioritized by the search engine. In addition to being ranked higher by the search engine, the user is directed to the first website and finds exactly what he is looking for.

Already, you can see that there need not be a conflict between search engine optimization and keyword placement.

You need to properly define your keywords in terms of relevance. The criterion for keyword relevance is based on how you think a searcher will write down his query. If he is looking for a pair of shoes, will he use “size 9” or “black size 9” or “Nike”? The best way to figure things out is to be a customer yourself. Go to a search engine and search for a single specific topic or product by using different words. Take note of the search strings you use and how relevant they are to your target.

Say you want to buy a CD of Eric Clapton so you are also searching for a store to buy it from. Do you type in “buy Eric Clapton” or is it “Eric Clapton CD”? As a searcher do you have a specific album in mind? Are you searching for Eric Clapton’s unplugged album? If so, how are you going to search for it? As the keywords get more specific, the more relevance it assumes. This is actually a trade-off. Keywords or phrases that are specifically relevant to the topic at hand tend to bring in the correct kind of web traffic that you are looking for.

However, because of their specificity, your website will only be used as a search result if the user’s query specifically matches your keywords.

Writing content is not as easy as jotting down a sentence or two. Think of the search engine as an artificial intelligence that needs to know everything. The more it can read, the better it can judge the relevance of your content. That being said, a lot of internet marketers write keyword-rich articles with a minimum of 400 words per article. To put it in simpler terms, a search engine is slow to grasp the whole point.

Having good content in your website is beneficial not only for search engine optimization, but also for usefulness to the person browsing your site. If you can make your site useful to me, I will certainly return to your site to find out if I can use something else again. People love useful and convenient things.

Posted in Information.