At one time, what is now known as ‘keyword stuffing’ was used by people wanting to rank highly in search engines. This is simply using an important related word over and over again in website content, so that search engines think it should be ranked highly for relevance. As search engines have evolved, this simply won’t work anymore, and such content will instantly be discarded as being too ‘spammy.’ This doesn’t mean that keywords aren’t important, but that we have to expand them much more into related phrases within relevant and varied content, not simply throw them into the mix like too much salt!
We still need to build keyword ‘rich’ pages around the main topic and related concepts, but instead of repeating keywords to a formula as we used to, we now need to find keywords that make this page relevant for as many searches around a concept as possible. The richness of the content is as important as the richness of the key phrases. We still need keywords to build a concept with, but it is now more important to include terms with relationships to the main topic. When someone lands on your page about a topic, there needs to be enough scope and breadth of information. If users are satisfied when comparing it with competing pages, then Google should also be satisfied. Keyword research is still going to be important in search engine optimisation of high-quality pages or planning a content marketing strategy, but these are not just single words used repeatedly.
The future of SEO is in forming key phrases which are more targeted and more closely related to your specific business. If you are selling fresh fish in Melbourne, then you should be using key phrases such as ‘best fresh fish in Melbourne’, or ‘good fish deals in Melbourne’ far more than simply ‘fish’ or even ‘Melbourne.’ Just as people are realising that internet activity is simply an extension and development of offline business, so the search engines are requiring more meaningful and in-depth content from a website. The future of SEO couldn’t possible rely on single keywords, as there is simply too much competition and the searching consumer needs more closely targeted results.