Relevance Not Keywords Help your Google Ranking

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Keywords get your site or blog indexed, which creates the potential for people to find you when searching on Google or Bing. Once you’re found, it’s your relevance that gets your visitors to stay and read your content.

Appearing on Google is only the first step.

If you’re not producing content relevant to your keywords, your audience and your visitors will go elsewhere and you’ll have undesirable bounce rates.

Imagine for a moment you’re at a trade show. You’re walking around, checking out the booths, searching for an answer to a particular obstacle you’re facing in your business.

Now imagine a young man walks up to you and says, “I know exactly where you can find the answer to your problem – follow me!” Let’s say you trust him. You let him guide you because his name is Google and you’ve heard this Google guy is a reputable character.

The old Google would have walked you down the hall, around the corner, and placed you in front of a seemingly relevant booth. It appears to be the right location; it has all the right keywords on the banners, the brochures say exactly what you’d expect them to say, and you’re amongst a large crowd.

But there’s a problem: the crowd is angry because when it comes to getting what they came for, the booth does not deliver. More and more people are coming, and Google begins to notice the problem. The booth is a sham – the products and information are not relevant.

Teenage Google

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In less than a second, Google’s intends to whisk you away to the perfect place – the place where Google thinks you’ll find what you’re looking for. But what happens when it’s not the right place? Google looks like it was taking advantage of you, and no one likes having the wool put over their eyes.

I’m sure you can remember a time when you thought Google was taking you to the right place, only the find out that the website was completely irrelevant to your desire. To be fair, it’s not completely Google’s fault. The young, less mature Google used metrics like keywords and web traffic. When using less sophisticated metrics, savvy marketers found a way to trick Google into placing their content on the first page. Google, not knowing any better, thought that it was helping you.

However, Google does not want their search engine to function this way. This is why the search engine giant is constantly updating their algorithms. With each update, Google intends to drive traffic to content relevant to the search.

What does this all mean to you as a content creator? It means that unless you want to be in a constant battle with Google, you’re better off creating content that’s relevant to your readers. Your relationship with your visitors will be better when you provide the content they want.

Grown Up Google

The meat and potatoes of Google is search, so if they’re not delivering traffic to relevant places, they’re not doing their job. This is why Google pays close attention to what happens after a visitor gets a search result. Are they clicking and leaving right away? Are they clicking and engaging in your website?

Above all else, the success of Google depends on how well it delivers relevant results. While keywords are used to index, keywords are not the only metric to consider.

The true metrics for Google are now how long you spend on a page, the number of clicks your site gets, and how far a visitor goes into your content. Google now examines time spent on the page, number of clicks your site gets, and the amount of interaction taking place on your website.

Relevance builds authority. When you deliver authoritative content, you will dominate the keywords you’re targeting.

If we pigeonhole these search criteria into one term: it’s 99.8% relevance and .2% keywords. Relevant content is more important now than ever.

Same As It Ever Was

If you’ve been in the content world for a while, you might be thinking relevance is nothing new. You’d be right – it’s not new, but it’s more important now than it ever was. As the internet matures, Google is doing all that they can to deliver the right content to people.

Every update from Google tells us relevant content is what people should be producing if they want to rank better. Google is looking at the conversations happening around the content. They are getting better at understanding the connection that forms between visitor and content provider.

Ali Moghadam from Word Tracker gives a great summary on the current state of relevance and content:

“This is by no means a new topic of discussion; relevance has been a byword for SEO for (what feels like) a long time now. What really needs to change is the mindset behind it. Being relevant doesn’t mean manufacturing areas of your site to target things and It doesn’t mean mashing as many keywords as you can into a single page or title tag. The culture of “throw enough mud and some of it will stick” is old news now – but I still see cases where swathes of keywords are being targeted.”

Check back soon for tips on creating relevant content.

The Sūmèr copywriters, myself included, are already working on upcoming posts to help you create relevant content. We hope that this post created awareness in the fact that relevant content is more important today than it ever was. And if you happened to already know that, let this post serve as a good reminder.

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