Keywords Searchers Google Index and Adwords Advertisers
Looking at the other site of the coin-When looking at keywords, we are too often only concentrating on what is in for us, but there is more to this equitation than you might think.
Is your head dizzy from all the different bits of information you picked up here and there about keywords, indexing and ads? Grab yourself a cup or glass of your favorite beverage and follow along, hopefully this article clears things up for you and helps you to become more successful as an online writer. Cheers!
I tried to make a really cool infographic about this, but I failed miserably!
Look at this little guy instead ;-)
A Keyword is More than Just a Search Query
In its easiest definition, a keyword is what a person types into a search engine in the hope to find what he or she is looking for. In order for this to happen, the search engine has to find the right match in their index. So how does this work?
Basically all search engines crawl and download the content of the internet continuously and index it for exactly this use. Yes, Google's search engine is nothing else than an indexed copy of all internet content it has found and crawled so far!
To understand indexing better, lets do a travel back in time ;-) Do you remember libraries before computers existed? I do. When I went to the library, I had several ways to find a book that I wanted to read. I could just browse the shelves and see if a title tickled my fancy or I could consult, drum roll please, - the library index!
In our library that meant drawers and drawers full of index cards that sorted the books in genre, topics, by author etc. Obviously, that system was highly limited by space, as well as by patience and knowledge of the librarian. Indexing new books was a highly skilled task that only few of them were allowed to do, if indexed wrongly, a book might have been never found by somebody that looked exactly for this topic!
Quick time travel back to our 21st century, Google is the master librarian of the internet that indexes any pieces of information and content it can find online and tries to match it to the best of its ability to the searchers query. And yes, also Google uses keywords for that.
A typical scenario: When I type Yorkshire Pudding Recipe into the Google tool bar, Google gets busy and presents me not only the pages that contain all these three words, but puts also those those it deems the best fit for my search on the top of all results. The Google search algorithm is said to consist of 200+ factors that Google takes into account when indexing the web and matching search queries with content! And obviously it is very secret ;-) But over time, some of this secrets have leaked, here some of them:
- When consulting its index Google looks not only for the words I typed in, but also which sites and pages are indexed for them and how relevant they are to my search. A site that only, or mainly, contains recipes, will have a high rating in this sort of index and a site that contains a section about typical English dishes, or is only about English recipes, will have an even higher one. For those that don't know it, Yorkshire pudding is a typical English dish, frequently eaten as a side dish for Sunday lunch ;-)
- So far so good, Google looks for the keyword being present in its index and the relevance of the websites that have these pages / articles on them. A website that normally specializes in ferret care, but has one, anecdotical, Yorkshire pudding recipe in a blog post has normally a slim chance to end up on the top of the search results page. Like we internet marketers online publishers say, this website is in the wrong niche for that keyword.
- So, in summary, Google uses his 'index keywords' to find the best match for the 'search keywords' of a person.
So what can we do to make this more likely to happen for our own content?
Google takes also those factors in account that are known as on page and off page SEO to determine what a site / article is all about and which 'index keyword' to attach to it. As this article is here on Wizzley, the ways you can influence this are somehow limited, but here a quick overview:
On Page SEO
Make sure that you actually use your keyword in your article. Don't laugh, I have been known to do exactly that in the past! I was blabbering on and on and on about something without actually mentioning it ;-)
Make especially sure that your keywords are in the actual url, the title of your article, the short two sentences introduction bit and in the first and last paragraph. Plus in the rest of the article body and in the module headlines, as long as it reads naturally and is useful for the reader (see below).
Equally important is to avoid keyword stuffing, the best way to check for this is to read the text aloud to yourself before you hit the publish button. Does it sound natural, flowing and interesting or boring and repetitive?
Write only about topics you actually know about because of the importance of LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords! No, don't run screaming away, it is really quite easy. These are those secondary keywords Google expects to find when you write about a topic. I give you some examples below:
- Harry Potter: Wizard, Hogwarts, J.K. Rowling, owls, ...
- SEO: Search engines, Google, on page, off page, ...
- Myanmar: Burma, travel, Asia, ...
You see, somebody that knows the topics well will automatically include them, somebody that doesn't know them will have a hard time doing so ;-)
Next point is to stick actually to your topic and keywords. That is another mistake I make frequently, I pack too much stuff in one article, going left and right ;-) I am still working on my self-discipline in that regard.
Off Page SEO
That are mainly links and social signals (Facebook likes, G+, tweets etc) that point to your site or article. Without going into too much detail, the most valuable ones are those that come from sites that are relevant to your topic / keyword and are trusted by Google. So, for example, a link from Lonely Planet to another travel site is gold, a link from a spammy pharma site to one about ferret cages is worth nothing.
So, Google labels, i.e. indexes, content with its own keywords and if your keywords in an article match Google's keywords for said article, you have struck search engine gold!
If your keywords and Google's keywords for your content differ too much from each other, you will not rank for what you intended to rank for, but perhaps for something else. For a bit of fun, google the keyword phrase 'click here' and see what I mean ;-)
Now we have covered how Google matches your content via his keywords and index with a search query, but there is more! If you are only interested in getting eyeballs and readers to your content, then you can stop here ;-) If you are interested in making money with it, read on ;-)
Keywords are Important for Getting the Right Ads
Google works with ads is like this: Potential advertisers bid money on the 'Google Adwords' platform to make their ads appear in search results and content pages that match their keyword(s). And here it gets tricky! Look at it from the advertiser's perspective for a moment, what would you like to achieve if you would be them?
A) You want to get your ads in front of the right audience, i.e. potential customers.
B) You want that the people that click your ad, take actually action on your site by buying a product or service for example.
If you have never have run a PPC campaign for your business, you might not know this, but advertisers can not only target their ads to certain specifics like demographic and location, but can also block sites completely that don't convert well for them. If you, as an advertiser, don't do so, you end up spending money for nothing! I learned a lot of this side of the business by running ads myself. If you have a few dollars to spare, I really encourage you to try it out yourself, it will open your eyes and, in the end, make you a better content provider for said advertisers ;-)
Many budding internet marketers are after 'the best keywords', meaning keywords that have a low competition, a high search volume and a high CPC (Cost per Click). They happily neglect the fact that the advertisers are the ones that decide where their ads are displayed and where not and that ultimately Google decides which ads to display where. So even if the advertiser says 'display my ads to everybody in the USA, that doesn't means that Google will actually do this. On the other hand if the advertiser says 'don't display my ads to people from Canada', Google will obey. Sounds complicated? It gets worse!
The money you can potentially earn per Adsense click depends also on a variety of other factors:
- The maximum amount the advertiser is willing to spend.
- The relevance of your site / page for the advertiser's chosen keyword.
- The ads Google decides to display on your site depending on relevance, the keyword match between you and Google and the amount of trust Google has in you.
If you have an own site that you monetize with Adsense, you can observe that last point nicely:
- The more focused your site is, the more focused are the ads.
- And the older your site is and the more it ranks for relevant and related keywords in your niche, the more valuable your clicks become.
- As a rule of thumb my own sites start to get regularly ad clicks that are worth more than $1 when they are around one year old.
But what about personalized ads and search results you ask?
Now it gets really esoteric ;-) Google not only personalizes search results according to user behavior and demographics, but also the kind of ads it shows to said user based on location, demographics, browsing behavior and so on.
I give you an example: You and I do both a search in Google.com. You live in Prague (Oklahoma) and I in Prague (Czech Republic) and we are both interested in finding out more about dog day care. What do you think will happen? Correct, Google will present you predominantly with results from your home town and me with results from mine ;-) Clever, isn't he, Mr.Google? Also sometimes I do get a bit concerned about what data and details about me are stored in their servers ...
So, what does that mean for us that publish articles on Wizzley?
First of all, write in American English! Wizzley is a company based and hosted in America, their traffic is coming most likely mostly from there, the majority of writers here, even when not Americans, uses American spelling and measures etc etc etc. So, don't confuse Google and 'speak American' ;-)
Second, here the good message: Wizzley is doing a good job! The Adsense clicks I had so far, it is early days for me here (at the time of writing this) were all over $1 per click. That is excellent for such a multi-author publishing platform and shows that Google trusts them already with better paying ads.
Last Summary ;-)
- Do your keyword research.
- Make it easy for Google to index your content with the right keywords.
- Write for human readers and about topics you know about.
Two more articles, that are perhaps a bit more hands-on than my elaborated essay how Google, searchers, keywords and ads interact with each other below, I really recommend you read them! And yes, they are not by me, but by two other Wizzley authors that know what they are writing about ;-)
You might also likeJoys of Keyword Research - The Funnies ;-)
Internet marketing and keyword research are going together like earth quakes ...Google Adsense, Keyword Tool And Google Ads
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Hi Sher, fancy meeting you here ;-) It is indeed a very nice community here, I am sure you will like it ;-)
SEO is one of the hardest parts in my online work. It can be a bit frustrating, but your article lays it out very nicely :)
Thank you for introducing me to Wizzley! It looks to be a great place to write, with very nice writers :)
Despite not being a humanist, but a human ;-), I agree! I am a big fan of the Gaia theory since a long time. We really have to work together and not against each other to make this place the earth it was meant to be.
Oh, and Othercat, if you tell me what part of keyword research you have difficulty with, that would be great material for a new article! Thanks ;-)
Lol, yes Google is complicated ;-) That is part of the fun for strange people like me. As for your off-topic question, I don't know really, perhaps because the founders / inventors are men? Sometimes I also think of Google as 'she' as in 'Google, what a b*tch!'. Not sure of that helps either ;-)
Google sounds complicated. No wonder I can't grasp keyword research!
I do have one off-topic question though. Why does everyone assume Google is a he?
Humagaia = Humanist + Gaia. Humans can solve the problems they have created with a lot of collaborative effort. Gaia can heal the damage humans have created, if humans stop creating the damage.
Whilst I agree with you, Humagaia, (interesting user name by the way sounds like human+gaia to me ;-)) that having 'some sort of backlinks' is better than having none at all, if these are exclusively from 'low value / unrelated sites' it makes your back link profile looking rather funny in Google's eyes. For example, when I start a new site, the first back links I see appearing are those from the domain registries, website info sites etc. Kind of normal back link background noise ;-) I would never, ever dream to throw a whole lot of low value back links on a new site with only a bit of content on it. Fact is, apart of putting my link up whilst commenting or mentioning my own sites on Web 2.0 articles like here, I have given up on back link building completely. I concentrate on building content / brand / reputation instead, with content being the biggie ;-)
As for the anchor text scenario, no I haven't actually split tested that one. And it would be very difficult to do. Instead I put myself in Google's place and asked myself how would I think a real back link = recommendation looks like and what I would suspect to be a sponsored / paid link?
As for the rest you mentioned, google the term 'negative seo', frightening to say the least!
My comment really was to show those that are not conversant on the matter that it is better to have any sort of backlink, than none at all. Some search results algorithms take into account the number of domains sending links, referenced against the total number of links. This is reflected in the link value. So, a link from the pharma site has an influence, as it become a 1:1 link, rather than a 1:100 link, where 100 links have arrived from a single domain.
The problem G has with this is that, if the link is natural, there is no way the recipient has any control over the action of an unrelated site. To apply nil benefit would be against the logic of the algorithm. The logic would basically be that, in the real world, someone from a lesser University, citing an article from a Professor at Cambridge in an unrelated subject, would not cause any kudos to the Professor. Esp. if the student then went on to become a Professor. - I know, not quite the same, but hopefully you get my drift. In programming terms it is a piece of code that would have to be amended on occasion that factors changed. Not something one would put into an algorithm lightly.
Your example regarding surrounding text for an anchor, seems sensible, have you any quantitative proof of such? My tendency is to do this anyway, as it is a better experience for the reader.
Keep the articles coming - this is interesting.
Thanks for commenting again, Humagaia ;-) Please note that I put the two intentionally together as in
"from a spammy site to an completely unrelated one is worth nothing."
What you describe, a link from a site that has some sort of Google trust, even if little, to an unrelated one would have some, but little, value in my experience. So in the scale of valuable links it would be close to the bottom, but not the least valuable one, you are correct. I simply wanted to show of the two extremes of the spectrum.
As for anchor text, also here things seem to be changing. It is true that anchor text is important, but it also seems to be true that it is important how the link is presented. It seems to me, and other seo nuts I speak with ;-), that Google takes more and more the wider text in account that surrounds the link, not only the actually linked text. Staying with your example, how does this link look to you?
"Our singywingy tablets cure wotsydangle, which can be caught when cleaning out ferret cages. If you have no idea how to do this safely, here a great article I really like about [ferret cages] [linked] and how to clean them safely."
Me, and others thinks that Google is slowly re-evaluating the real value of perfectly anchored back links in a text and is looking at the context to see if the link was fabricated or if it is a real recommendation. Because that is what a link is, a recommendation from one site to another.
As for "The link value passed from the pharma site is related to the number of external links, total links and PR of the site where the anchor text resides."
Plus the trust rank Google has assigned to that site, which can be very different from pagerank. For the rest you are again correct ;-)