Do Not Focus Unduly on Individual Keywords

Search engine optimization has changed in recent years, as has our view of how to work with it. An important factor is that you no longer need to attach as much importance to specific pages and keywords in order to take positions with them.

In the past, search engine optimization was much more straightforward: you built a landing page for your site; you made certain that it was optimized; and then you made sure that it received links. After a while, you would start to show up in the search results due to the keywords you had in the heading and title. Things are not that simple today.

Google has frequently re-evaluated its view on links. Anchor text and PageRank used to be of the utmost importance, and pointing the links to the page you wanted to rank would make it climb. Today, however, you need a much broader perspective to succeed. Links that aggressively target a specific site usually cause more problems than they solve. They can be useful, but the algorithm and the filters are often in conflict over a lot of the links out there. A lot of people still work according to the somewhat outdated model of using lots of anchor links leading to selected landing pages. It certainly still has some effect, but far from the maximum.

The most important consideration is to look at how a site naturally gets links. A web shop rarely gets that many links to a category page, even though it might be the most relevant page in a search result. If you are searching for nuts, you want to get more nuts to choose from, rather than just a specific nut. But that does not mean that people often link to these pages.

Our Recommendations

The best way to proceed, and what we always recommend today, is to build a site that is strong in itself; an authoritative site with natural links to a number of different pages. Then you have to build that site in a way that allocates internal power to maximum effect – something that, unfortunately, most search engine optimizers in Sweden have not really mastered. By building this authority and letting the link juice flow through the site in a good way, rather than pointing links to a specific page, you will be able to improve your ranking.

It will take a little longer, and it will be a bit harder to estimate in advance exactly how things will turn out, but it will yield results and it will provide many more benefits than if you had just focused on a single keyword. You just need to accept the fact that you have less control over progress, as Google has taken a firmer grip on its own search results. This might also be a more complex situation to handle for the inexperienced search engine optimizer.

You should not, of course, stop measuring positions or quit doing keyword analysis. You just shouldn’t be too aggressive using links, and you should stop filling the text with too many keywords.

Magnus Bråth