Do Keywords Equal Search Engine Success?

A lot of people believe that having a lot of keywords in the content of your website will get it to the top of the search engine results.  That’s not true.

The website with the most keywords doesn’t outperform the competitors in the search engine results.  However, it’s a prevalent myth.

Imagine how difficult it would be to read a web page if that were true. Website owners would do this:

“One (keyword) of (keyword) the (keyword) most (keyword) prevalent (keyword) myths…”

So, Do Keywords Matter At All?

Yes, keywords matter!

There are a lot of factors that determine the position of a web page in a search.  Google wants to offer the best page that would answer the search query.

If a page from your website is going to do well in the search engines, it has to become the best page.  “Best” is defined by Google.

So, how can anyone know what Google thinks is the “best” page for that search?   Look at all of the top websites and figure out what they have that their competitors don’t have, then test that theory. That’s what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about.

Your Website Needs Keywords

Your website will never succeed if it doesn’t mention what the website is about!

That shouldn’t ever be a problem because you shouldn’t be able to discuss the topic your website is devoted to without using appropriate words to describe it.

Keywords have to appear often enough that a robot (sent by a search engine to gather data) can figure out what the website is all about, but not so much that it looks like someone is trying to trick Google!

Additional Keywords – Google is Very Smart

What if your website is about snow tires?

Then Google would expect to see words like cold, freezing, rubber, tread, compound, traction, stopping distance, ice, snow, safety, and probably dozens of other similar words.

If the words or phrase “snow tires” was repeated over and over again, it looks like a ploy to get a very low-quality page to the top of the search results.

Boat Example

Imagine a boat on one side of a lake.

Now, imagine you want to get into that boat and use it to get across the lake.  You may even be able to see the exact point on the other shore that you wish to get to.

One important thing to do is to point the boat in the right direction.  That’s what keywords do.  What are people searching for that should include your site in the search results?

Keywords point your site in the right direction! They get it into the search results.  Not high in the search results, just in the search results.

If you’ve ever noticed the data at the top of a Google search, it might say something like this – About 28,800,000 results (0.30 seconds)

If you have those keywords in your site, then pages from your site will be one of the 28 million results.

Getting to the Top

So, if there are 28 million competitors for the top spot in the above example, how is it possible to get to the top?

Getting to the top of a search result requires that your page has some authority or credibility!

To get authority, there has to be more than just your website involved.  Other sites would have to “vouch” for you.  They’d have to lend their authority to your site.

The way they “lend authority” or enhance credibility is to link TO your site or mention your business name address and phone number.  They are telling their visitors that your site has something of value to offer.

Link Strength and Citations – The Secret Weapons

Let’s go back to the boat example again.

You want to cross a lake, you are in the boat and pointing the right direction (your site has the keywords it needs).

Now, to get where you are going, it’s necessary to add power!  Oars, sails, inboards, outboards, whatever.  You’ll need something to propel the boat across the lake.

To propel your website to the top of the search results, you are going to need Link Strength and citations.

If there’s a link to your site from CNN or the White House, you’d receive more authority/credibility than if there’s a link to your site from the neighborhood babysitter’s blog.

Some Things Never Change

There’s been one constant from the beginning of Google – Link Strength.  That hasn’t changed.

You get link strength when there’s a link on another site that points to your site.  Someone clicks it and now they are on your site.

The only thing that changes is how Google defines a good or bad link. That has changed a lot over the years, and a bad link can result in severe penalties to your site.

Other Factors Matter Too

There are dozens of other factors that matter.

Your site might be too slow to load, or the titles may be duplicated, or maybe the content is a duplicate of another website.

The list of things that matter is quite long, but to put it in perspective, few of them matter without link strength or citations lending credibility to your site.


Keywords determine what search result in which your site will be included.

Link strength determines how close to the top of the results your site will appear.

Keywords to “point the way” and Link Strength and Citations will get you there. Without Link Strength, your site will never succeed in the search engines unless you are fortunate to have competitors that don’t have any Link Strength either!