Change can happen at any time. The turn of the new year, however, is typically a standard checkpoint for inciting change we would like to see in our lives. At McNutt & Partners, we like to see change that involves making SEO goals more attainable for our clients. Appeasing Google and its ever-changing algorithm is no clear-cut task, which makes this beneficial change to SEO in 2021 all the more welcomed.
Back to basics: keywords as they relate to SEO are target words or phrases that appear on your website pages. These words or phrases are ones you intend for Google to notice, and therefore rank your page as a result when a user types a similar keyword into its search box.
When paying attention to SEO on your digital assets, it is important to identify multiple keywords (a main keyword, and then variations of that keyword) for which you want your content to rank.
The back story
Though we are associating this change to SEO in 2021 with the new year, it’s actually something that has been developing over time.
Google’s old way of ranking content for keywords involved website pages with long, long blocks of text. On these pages, you would identify a target keyword (as usual), and then, by creating subheads, incorporate many, potentially hundreds, of keyword variations on that same page within that long, long block of text. We’re talking thousands of words on a single page.
For example, if our target keyword was “how to play guitar,” variation keywords could include “how to pluck guitar strings,” “how to hold a guitar,” “how to play guitar for children,” etc.
Being able to rank this way, with a never-ending, thousand-word blog entry, hasn’t changed. The problem with ranking this way? Long blocks of text are not user friendly. They also require more effort on the part of the content creator.
Shorter is better
The beneficial change to SEO in 2021 that we are referring to offers more flexibility. Now, instead of creating one gargantuan block of content on a single page, Google is actually favoring multiple, focused pages with smaller areas of content. With this shift, you’re more likely to rank by having multiple pages with different answers to questions within a subtopic, rather than one long page with many.
This is a benefit because it allows for a greater volume of blog posts, rather than needing to consolidate them into one page. This can possibly lead to users being drawn in over time, keeping interest sustained.
In other words, lengthier copy on web pages is now not necessarily better for SEO—a shift from the way things used to be.
Google’s algorithm has changed over time to favor a new way of ranking for keywords. This beneficial change to SEO in 2021 will help content producers to simplify their strategies while making content easier to consume.
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