“Keywords”(in the context of search engines and websites) are words or phrases that people type into search engines in their quest for knowledge, distraction or entertainment on the world wide web (also called the internet).
Keywords can really be anything text based that may relate to the information you seek. For example, if you were looking for a new car you might type in the brand name of a car you like. For example, ‘Ferrari’, ‘Porsche’ or perhaps ‘Ford Focus’ (Just keeping it real). Now if you are are playing along at home or work and type Ford Focus into Google.com.au you will see like magic that www.ford.com.au is the top ranking site for this search.
Complicated Math & Accuracy - ZZZzzzz
The way Google and other search engines arrives at this decision is via some rather complicated math. Explaining how it works would make great therapy for insomniacs so I won’t bore you with the finer details. Suffice to say, math or magic the system works - most people would agree that ford.com.au is the most relevant website for a Ford motor car based keyword search. This accuracy is critical to the success of any search engine.
To understand why search engines are so accurate, we need to look at how they make their money. Search engines earn money by selling advertising space on their search results page on a ‘Pay-Per-Click model’ - that is, you only pay if someone clicks on your ad. If a search engines stops serving up accurate results, people will change search engines and this new engine will end up with all the old engines tasty ad revenue. Unfortunately for the search engines, staying accurate is not easy. They are in constant battle with people trying to buck the system and rank number 1 regardless of relevance. For this reason, search engines keep their algorithms more secret than the prime ministers underwear. How many keywords X how many links x eye of newt and wing of bat ZZZZzzzzzzz.
Tricking The Search Engines (not advisable)
Believe it or not, some hardy, sleep resistant individuals spend every moment they can stay awake trying to figure out the Search Engine Optimisation math. The idea is that once you know the ‘keyword density’ or the ‘link rankings’ or ‘word count’ you can trick the search engines into ranking your website higher under selected keywords. There is of course an easier, less sleep inducing way to become number 1 in Google etc. To be number one in any search engine, all you need to do is become more relevant than everyone else. But (and this is clincher) there is no point being number 1 for keywords that only you and your competitors are searching. You need to find out what your potential customers are searching for and be found under those keyword searches.
Finding Popular Keywords
Incredibly there is actually a web page provided by Overture (a Yahoo owned company or they own Yahoo - Google it if you really care) where you can type in any keyword you like to discover how popular that keyword was in the last month or so. If you do a search for Ford to continue my blatant plug for one of our beloved clients, we find that the keywords ‘Ford Dealership is actually more popular than the keywords ‘Ford Focus’. You might prefer then to ‘optimise’ your website around the more popular keyword as we did with Australia’s Number 1 Ford Dealership City Ford (http://www.cityford.com.au)
The Interactive Bit
So that is Keywords in a nutshell. For those of you who are interactive, you might like to search ‘Ford Dealership’ in Google.com.au and see what comes up.
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If you would like the URL to the Overture Keyword database results page, drop us an email with “Overture Keyword Tool’ as the subject line and we will send it to you directly.