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Keywords – the Heart of SEO

Kewords are what makes or breaks a website when seeking high search engine rankings. Keywords in the metatags, title and keyword-rich text all play an important role in getting a website to the top of the search engines.

The trick to using keywords (or keyword phrases) is using just enough without going over. Otherwise your site will end up in the search engine penalty box and flounder in obscurity. A few years ago, SEO companies would optimize a website by stuffing the keyword metatags with a bunch of keywords that may or may not have been relevant to the site. So a website about plumbing could make it to the top of the search engines for the keyword “travel” if that particular metatag was spammed.

Also, SEO companies, webmasters and others used to put all sorts of keywords at the bottom of the site in plain view while others hid the keywords by making the text the same color as the background. The search engines have grown so now they pick up on these “spamming” tricks and will penalize a website that engages in this type of behavior.

Nowadays, most search engines will look at the site’s title, metatags, content and links to determine what the website is about and how it should be ranked. If the same keywords show up in all of these places (and are not spammed in these places) a website most likely will do better than its competition that do not have keywords in these places. In addition, the search engines now consider keyword variations such as plurals and synonyms when ranking pages.

In regard to writing keyword-rich text, the writer has to keep two things in mind: search engine spiders and visitors. The written text has to inform, engage and hopefully captivate the visitor who will wish to further explore the site and perhaps buy the products or services on the site. The text also has to be written so that a search engine spider will know what the dominant keywords are, match these keywords to the title, metatags and link text and index the web page accordingly.

So, keywords and keyword phrases are at the heart of search engine optimization. Without the right amount, in the right places your website will not fulfill its potential in the search engine rankings.

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