It may sound harsh, but it’s the truth. Google’s switch to 100% (not provided) keywords has been more than a little scary for most and liberating for a few. I tend to fall on the smaller side of that discussion. While tracking keyword performance has always been important in SEO, I’ve always placed more importance on overall content. It should about the content, not the individual keyword. It should be about the reader, not the search engine.
Sure, you’ve got to have some insight into what people are searching for (and there are still ways to get that insight), but our business has always been more about interesting, informative content than straight up keywords. Let’s face it. Over the years, we’ve all had to sacrifice readability in order to get that one keyword to fit and it kind of made our skin crawl. Well, with (not provided) we can now feel free to focus more on messages and less on keywords. Stop sacrificing content in favor of keywords.
However, the keywords you use in your new content should be comparable to what you’ve always been using. Why? Because you’re still writing about your products and services. You’re still answering your customers questions. In the end, that’s what Hummingbird and this switch to 100% (not provided) has really been all about – expanding the conversation into a more conversational atmosphere. So, keep on having the conversation with your customers. You can be less maniacal about keywords and more fanatical about your products, services and customer solutions.
As they say in the military, with Google putting the clamps on organic keywords, you can now “speak freely”.