Keywords, Keywords, Keywords. It is said that you should analyze your keywords before you do any website optimization. I agree. Keyword analysis helps you see what people are typing into the search engines and you want them to find your site. What makes one tear out the remaining hair follicles is which variation of the word you should use.
“Do I put in ‘ac’ or ‘air conditioning’ or ‘a/c’? Do I optimize for all of them?”
The other question is concerning hyphens.
“Do I put ‘remote-control’, ‘richmond-va’? How many hyphens is allowable? Does the search engine distinguish words?”
These questions are valid because no one wants to miss an opportunity because someone typed in “flower” and you optimized for “flowers.”
Well, I have good news.
Google has been playing around with its algorithm and made it a tad self-aware … or at least aware of what you are trying to find. Certain words are becoming associated with other words to aid in bringing more relevant results to your browser.
Let’s look at our first example of “ac” versus “Air conditioning”
Interestingly enough, Google went ahead and substituted “ac” for “air conditioning.” If this is an upcoming trend, your keyword list can be reduced. If more abbreviations defer to the actual word, then the competition for those words will increase due to this substitution. There is no need to panic, this actually will help in the long run by eliminating keyword abuse.
For our second example, the hyphen has been a great tool for keywords, but having a url that looks like best-leather-shoe-springfield-ohio.html seems a bit overkill, if not spammy. Let’s see what Google has to say:
Google is able to split words and see individual words even inside a URL. The days of the hyphen seem to be numbered. If someone with the URL “lexingtonpubs.com” is wanting to optimize and is being told to change to “lexington-pubs.com,” their efforts will be in vain since Google sees the two words without the hyphen.
“But what if the hypen is typed in anyway, as used in components?”
Let’s try something else then:
How about that? The hyphen was removed. So choosing to optimize between “rj12″ and “rj-12″ is no longer a choice you have to worry about. Maybe.
While Google has made some impressive tweaks to its algorithm, try the same search for ac repair in Yahoo or Live and see what you come up with. What do you do if they don’t follow Google?
1. Pay attention to market share (of which Google Dominates) and
2. Pay attention to your websites traffic and see what browsers most of your customers are using.
Remember, it’s always about the user surfing to your page. If most of your audience is using Yahoo to find you, don’t sweat it and expand your keyword list to include abbreviations. SEO is about finding out what people are looking for and we want you to be what they are looking for in the end.