To Keyword or Not To Keyword—That is the SEO Question

Google's SEO Algorithm

There have been numerous other articles over the last several months discussing whether or not Google’s current algorithm uses meta tags and meta keywords in ranking websites. (Note: Google’s algorithm is not public and is changed frequently so even the “experts” in the field are really just hypothesizing about how the logic actually works.)

This much is clear. Google has moved away from using meta tags created by the page’s author to determine how it ranks pages. Instead, Google is focusing on the user experience (how easy is it for a visitor to navigate the page and the site) and content evaluation (using the page content to figure out what subject it really relates to).

Using Keywords

So are keywords bad? Absolutely not. You just need to use them differently than you might have in the past. Instead of relegating terms that important to SEO to the keyword box, integrate key concepts for your business in the body of the content on the site. If your site is about cars, don’t talk about modes of travel, talk about cars. (WARNING: Do not just shove the word “car” into you site as often as you can—that’s called keyword stuffing and all the search engines abhor it.) Label images (yes, you should be using the title tags and alt tags) using your keywords in a natural way. Use keywords in titles (title tags give words extra weight).

Go back after you’ve written content and re-read it with an eye toward making it easy for search engines to understand what you’ve written about. If you talk about cars (Cars are important), the search engines will get it. If you talk about automobiles (Automobiles are important), the search engines will get it. If you talk about them (They are important), the search engines will have no idea what you’re talking about.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is definitely an important part of digital marketing and using keywords is critical for the search engines to find your site and rank it highly. However, more than ever, it is important to weave those keywords into your site in a natural way rather than relying on a field labeled keywords to drive search engine rankings.

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