SEO – Are Keywords Doomed?

The series of 2011 so-called Panda updates by Google refined the algorithm of its search engine core, but could herald the death of keywords. This upgrade was done in an effort to improve the quality of results returned for users’ searches by filtering out low content-value engine-gaming sites, regurgitated rubbish, scraped content and wordy but ultimately low quality content, as perceived by users. The key purpose was, of course, to ensure that the Google portal users maintained a high regard for its search technology, and by extension, its associated advertising business model. As an aside of course, this also means that Google is reaching with more depth into knowledge of users’ browsing patterns – not just superficially as had been the case earlier.

The Panda enhancements reportedly included (according to speculation): assessment of user residence time on a URL and their inter-page navigation on that site, users’ readiness to share the results with friends and colleagues directly and through social networking channels, and their preparedness to comment (on Web 2.0 sites).

Some time ago I wrote speculating whether the Google engine and storage was a neural network in gestation google scrape . Maybe not yet, but the learning capability is increasing exponentially.

Whilst the so-called focus of the model would seem to have shifted from content-analytical to consumer-analytical, I cannot believe that the content crunching alogorithms which the company has employed for several years now, have been ditched. I believe that Google still envisions being able to take a piece of content and assess its ‘value’ whatever that means objectively.

Now ‘value’ is a subjective measure with no absolute scale – it is merely a relative concept. But what if the content was assessed relative to, say, Wikipedia or other relevant authority site?

If a site such as Wikipedia (or equivalent) became the ultimate reference baseline, then the only point of anyone writing anything else would be to extend content. That would signal the end for Google – it is the diversity of resources that makes Google necessary for users.

Anyway, to get to my main point: Up until 2011, the keywords concept has worked in both Google’s and commercial interests. For Google it has meant that relatively accurate search results could be obtained, whilst for content creators, the concept has been, mostly, profitable. As the lexical analysis technology proceeds however (and Booklamp have irons in this fire, too), then there will come a time when the concept of ‘keywords’ will be meaningless. The search engine will decide for itself what the content is about, and measure its ‘value’ against Wiki-likes, supplemented by the user-community grading – as recorded by Google itself.

Saving money is something we always love to do. At the same time, a surprising number of people don’t spend a couple extra minutes to save money. Sure, if an item is on sale, they’re happy to buy it and save the money. The sale may be the only reason why they bought the item at all.

But this line of purchasing is just buying sale items by convenience. The person is ready to buy something, and it the particular item happens to be on sale, so they buy it. What you should move towards is knowing how to make your own sales quickly, effectively and easily. I’m talking about mastering the art of quick bargain shopping.

Fact: By spending under a minute of search-time online, you can save money on ANYTHING. I really mean it – a big part of my book, Scraping By, is on quick and easy bargain shopping. I developed a system of knowing how to get cheap clothes, cheap groceries, cheap electronics…. without BEING cheap. In other words, you can purchase the high quality items you want and save money. My methodology allows you to get what you want for less, without having to buy cheap knock-offs and imitations. In fact, I discourage getting cheap versions of what you want – it’s a bad investment in most cases (this doesn’t apply to disposable or edible/drinkable items.)

So what are some pointers I can give you, here and now, to save you a ton of money right away? In this day and age, all bargain hunting should start on the internet. First and foremost, craigslist and ebay.com are your best friends. If you are looking to buy any item, search for it on Google and put the word ‘craigslist’ at the end of your search string. You may happen to find someone selling that exact item on craigslist, somewhere in the country. If the price is right (and you trust the seller), oftentimes the seller is willing to send you the item no matter where you live. As for ebay, that’s a no brainer. If you are not at least checking ebay.com to see how cheap you can buy an item for, you are probably wasting a TON of money in different areas of your life.

I think that saving money is a lot of fun. Unlike the pre-internet days (aka the Stone Age), finding bargains takes a matter of seconds. Chances are, if you make it a habit to just do a quick check on the internet for cheap buys, you’ll save, on average, about $5 a day over the year. And that’s huge – if you save $5 a day, you’re saving a total of $1825 for the year… That’s a pretty substantial amount of savings for just taking an extra minute before you make any purchase.

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