With all the changes happening in SEO, it makes sense that some would declare the keyword to be dead. But then you read what others say, and they say it isn’t dead at all and keywords still have value. We have talked a lot about the changes in keywords on this blog. I don’t think of “keywords” as a magic formula where the keyword was sprinkled liberally throughout the text for no other reason than catching a search engine’s attention is alive, but I do think that the basic function of the keyword is both alive and kicking, continuing to be what drives SEO.
What Is That Keyword, Really?
Think about it: what do search engines do but search for the word that is typed into the search box? The unique business proposition of the search engine is to deliver what the searcher is looking for, as quickly as possible. I’m going to say that again in different words —
Search engines find the stuff we want, when we want it, or we find other search engines.
It is good business practice for the search engine to deliver because there is competition among search engines. And search engines work on finding the thing that is typed into the box before you hit that little magnifying glass icon or enter. They try to up their game by figuring out why you typed those words and giving you what they think you want based on all sorts of relevancy clues, but the place they all start is with the words in the box — the keywords.
Keywords Are Marketing Clues
The better you know your customer and your own unique selling proposition, the more obvious your keyword selections will become. If the language of your market is the language of your content, the words they use to look for what you offer will already be in that content. You will be using the keywords they will be using to find you. The beauty of the algorithm updates is that they now are looking for the rest of the relevancy clues in your content, too.