|Weekly SEO news: 10 July 2018|
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Modern search engines rank topics instead of individual keywords. Nevertheless, it is important that your web pages contain the right keywords and synonyms of these keywords. Google's John Mueller confirmed this in a Google Webmaster Office Hour on YouTube.
How to use synonyms on your website
Google's John Mueller said that you should make sure that you use the right words to address your website visitors:
"I think, with regards to what to put on the pages, [synonyms are] something you almost need to think about. Your target audience: how do they search? What do they want to find on the pages? What makes them comfortable when they go to that page? Do they want this particular writing of the way, or do they search for a different type of writing?"
John Mueller also said that it helps if your web pages contain the searched keyword:
"Because ultimately from the SEO side, we do try to figure out which [keywords] belong together and sometimes that works, but if we see that a user is searching explicitly for one version and we know your page has that version, then that’s already a good thing.And if they go to your page and see: 'Oh this is what I was looking for.' But it’s also a good sign that indirectly we could pick up on over time."
He added that it was okay to use different words for the same product:
"If you see that people that you’re targeting are using both [keywords], then that might be an option. [Using two different words for the same product] would be fine. I think that could make sense."
Party like it's 1999?
Back in the early days of search engine optimization, it was common to find sentences such as "Are you interest in shoes, boot, cleats, cowboy boots, loafers, pumps, running shoes, slippers, sneakers, tennis shoes, clogs, flip-flops, footwear, moccasins, sandals, high heels?" on many web pages. Fortunately, these days are over.
Sentences like these can off-putting to website visitors. It's okay to use synonyms naturally on your web pages. Simply stuffing keywords in a list won't help you:
"I think you have to be careful that you don’t go off into the kind of typical SEO keyword stuffing thing where it’s like 'Oh I will put plural and singular and like all of the different variations of the words on a page', because that doesn’t really help. But just being direct and saying 'This is what I offer', I think that’s okay."
Be careful when you add synonyms to your web pages. Search engine algorithms become better every day and they are able to distinguish natural content and spam. You can view the video here.
Optimize your web pages now
Use synonyms on your web pages to help people who use keywords that are not exactly the same words that you might use. The right synonyms add value to your website and they help you to get better rankings on search engines. Use synonyms that are related to your business.
Optimize as many different pages as possible for different keywords that are related to the topic of your website. That will show Google that your website is relevant to the topic. The Top 10 Optimizer tool in SEOprofiler helps you to do that:
Gary Illyes from Google addressed it on Twitter, and it is not a spam signal. It also means those with legacy sites don’t need to worry about removing old meta keyword tags on older pages, since it is not used as a negative signal."
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