Rules of the road: changing algorithms and SEO ranking factors

Sep 12, 2016

SEO RulesDetermining features which work best for high-ranking websites lead to website success or failure. One of the top questions we hear everyday from clients is whether or not Google still utilizes meta keyword tags in SEO.  They are always surprised to hear that the answer is “no.”
In 2009, Google published an article accompanied by a video, that Google was no longer using meta key words as a determining factor for ranking. Google also mentioned that this may not be the case in the future. They may indeed go back to this method at a later date. As of 2016 however, they are still not using meta key words (individual words) to determine rank. This is not the case however with all search engines.

How does”Yahoo” feel about meta keywords?

The search engine Yahoo has reported while they still index meta keyword tags, the importance of the ranking give to these tags will receive the lowest ranking signal in their system. The safest method is to introduce key words organically into the body of the page content. Bloggers and professional writers know this and strive hard to create interesting and valuable content. They concentrate on the relevance of the written word rather than stuffing keywords into a paragraph hoping to gain favor.
Additionally, Yahoo has reported that keyword stuffing will not help a page’s rank. In fact, it will actually have less effect and could lower the page rank. In summary, the Yahoo search engine gives no weight to meta keyword tags. Yahoo is reporting they will, as a last resort use the tags for page ranking but the ranking score will be lowered.

How does “Bing” rank meta language?

SEO RulesBing has reported (just like Yahoo) that they don’t use the meta keyword tag as a ranking factor any longer. Key word tags are used only as a last resort such as a signal when nothing else is available on the site. Website owners should develop a better practice of using language more organically, to have a natural flow of information.  Otherwise the keywords could have a damaging effect to the SEO ranking. The idea behind keyword tags is very outdated in today’s marketplace and you could risk negativity if you use them improperly.

Beware of scam companies soliciting website owners:

Many clients are being contacted by SEO companies claiming to be able to increase rank by manipulating key word strategies and employing black hat search engine optimization methods. Many of these companies are not legitimate and we caution all of you to be careful when you are being solicited. The safe rule of thumb is to go directly to Google or a major search engine and read about their advertising solutions. Many times when you receive a phone call, some ad in the mail or an email with huge promises it could be a scam.  Be careful out there.

Here are a few methods which appear on top ranking sites:

  • Pages are user-friendly, easy to scan and scalable
  • Great visual images for marketing excellence
  • User experience focuses on design and functionality
  • Top sites provide consistent and relevent blog content (organic method)
  • Blog content must be written in original form (no copying and pasting)
  • No duplicate content is allowed throughout the website pages
  • Home page features helpful user signals “call to action” verbs
  • Menu system updated and easy to navigate pages

Thanks for stopping by.  Hurry back for more next time.
Jean Holland-Rose, Chief Creative Officer & SEO Professional


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