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Thread: Keywords and HTML Coding

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    Question Keywords and HTML Coding

    I've been doing a lot of keyword research and building keywords and phrases into our site. I've recently read somewhere on a few different places that google and other search engines don't take any notice of keywords in the HTML coding. Is this true?

    Also is there a tool or place that can count the number of characters I have in my copy text and what positioning my keywords fit in the text? I don't want to be spamming or over stuffing.
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    Search engines don't pay attention to keywords in your meta keywords tag. That's probably what you read. They do pay attention to keywords in your content and in some parts of the code however.

    Don't worry about tools counting words and characters or even worry about trying to get in an extra keyword or two into your copy. Search engines are a lot more sophisticated than that. Just write your copy for the real people who are going to read it. Ultimately search engines are looking to rank web pages that real people want to consume. If you read your own copy and wonder if it looks like keyword stuffing then you're probably stuffing keywords.

    One place you do want to make sure to add your main keyword phrase is in your page title (between the html title tags). Beyond that you can give folder and file names keyword rich names. Here's an article I wrote for another site early last year. It's a beginner's guide to seo. That's part 2 of 3 and it deals with how to organize files and folders and use keywords on your page.

    Hope it helps.
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    Useful article VG, thank you

    So this sounds like a stupid question then, how do they know what the keywords are ?
    Tommy | HomeTown Pest Control
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    I'm glad you liked it. Nope, not a stupid questions. There really isn't such a thing.

    Search engines don't really care what your keywords are. What they care about is providing the best search results they can. Someone types a query into a search engine and the engine wants to present a list of web pages that the person will find relevant to what they're searching for. Once upon a time that might have been as simple as comparing the exact phrases used in the query to the same phrases on web pages. Unfortunately that was very easy to manipulate and so search engines had to look beyond it.

    They can look at synonyms of the words being searched and how much authority the site in question has. They'll consider the words used in links pointing to the page and perhaps the words used when sharing the page on different social sites. Presumably the words or similar words will be mentioned on the page as well. I'm not suggesting you don't want to use your keywords on the page. More not to obsess about having used the keyword the right number of times on the page. When I write content I keep the basic keyword phrase in mind and then just write. I'll naturally use it and variations of it throughout the copy.

    Google has said they have at least 200 different factors or signals they look at to determine ranking. They likely look at a lot more than 200 and also variations all the things they consider signals. Here's an annual article from SEOmoz on search engine ranking factors. Don't take everything in it as gospel, but it should give you an idea of what SEOs consider some of the more and less important ranking factors.

    What I was really trying to get at is to take a more holistic view of seo. Focus more on creating the best content you can and learn how to promote that content to real people. On your site do use your keywords where it makes sense to use them in your copy. Do add them to page titles. Make sure your site is developed in a way that allows search engines to crawl the site and ideally understand the structure of the site as a whole. If you do those things you'll find much of the rest takes care of itself.
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    I would add just one thing about page titles. Yes, keywords or key phrases are VERY important, but short and sweet is also important. I like to be sure they are 80 characters or less. Many people advocate 64 or less. Either way, short is the key. It should also be structured to be inviting so people seeing it on search engines results will want to click (your title is the top hypertext line in search results), but not "salesy" or it will backfire. Just the facts so they see it's relevant to what they're looking for, but presented in an inviting way.

    If you gather from that explanation that page titles can be very time consuming to create, that is right. But remember, since the vast majority of sites don't put enough effort into their titles, those who do will shine more brightly.

    One more thing: every page should have a unique title and it should provide a good indication of what content you have on that page. Like vangogh said, write for humans and the search engines will reward you because their goal is for humans to be happy with the results provided.
    Steve Chittenden

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    As luck would have it today's Whiteboard Friday video from SEOmoz was all about how to write title tags.

    Tommy SEOmoz is a good blog to subscribe to if you want to learn more about seo. Some of their posts might not make complete sense at first, but if you keep reading I promise they will in time. Sometimes seo can be a little confusing when you first start learning, but once a few things start to click it'll begin making much more sense.
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    More emphasis has been placed on user experience with the Panda update so your content "above the fold" is going to be analyzed with a fine-toothed comb. Write in a way that you would enjoy reading, using your target keywords sparingly, and you should be alright. Focus more on high quality, original content and you'll see better results than if you focus on keyword density. I've worked with someone who was friends with Larry Page back in the day and he swears that Google uses over 2,000 different factors in their site ranking algorithm. I don't know how truthful this statement is, but I can definitely see Google openly admitting to 200 factors, when really they have 2,000.

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    More emphasis has been placed on user experience with the Panda update
    Which is a good thing. I think Google does apply some different standards where it does and doesn't benefit them, but you can't argue against something that attempts to favor quality web pages over web pages stuffed with ads.
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