SevenCubed - 5:44 pm on Sep 15, 2012 (gmt 0)
Why would any site want to rank for a keyword that wasn't really relevant for the content anyway? That kind of traffic has almost no value unless you are getting paid for ad impressions.
In my post above I mentioned being inspired to write about something due to gaining insight from another source. In so doing, the primary and secondary supporting keywords of the topic will likely become common ground that may be able to influence SERPs for my perspective.
That in turn might nudge me up close to the authoritative source in SERP. And this is where the VALUE comes in. By having a supporting point of view that mostly agrees with the original source, but that may also build on the perspective in ways not mentioned in the original, we are backing-up what is being presented. That can help build trust. This becomes especially powerful when a topic can transcend cultural conditioning (as leosghost would say) to the point where a topic can reach accord irrelevant to our place on the planet. When we find precious ideologies that tumble into those funnels we can be certain we have found something that is more in tune with our intrinsic understanding of our outer world. Hopefully that will lead us closer to unity rather than deeper division. So, I would say that type of traffic has tremendous value over and above financial compensation.
To try to explain what I've said above consider this. The key for me is that I may be digging into a perspective that is foreign to my Canadian French/English cultural perspective but no less important. When I recognize the value of the author's knowledge I reach a realization that this knowledge needs to be presented to readers of my cultural environment in a manner that won't offend them but warm them up to the possibilities. Due to it being a foreign source the topic is sometimes steeped with keywords for which there is no French or English equivalent. It then becomes my effort to find the theory that it most closely resembles (not make up my own) in my culture and build a bridge of understanding between the two sources to reinforce it as a source of something worth understanding. In this case I would definitely want to rank for the keywords of the original source but then build my own new set of keywords that will explain it to the people of my culture. A primary reason for this is because a person of my culture might have overheard an interesting conversation (framed around foreign keywords even though spoken in English or French) while out in public and decide to research it. But if they are only getting results from a foreign perspective (using the foreign keywords) they might become discouraged in trying to further understand it and therefore dismiss it. Whereas if they can find a source closer to home that has been "ideologically translated" (even though the original may be in English but catering to the "in the know crowd") they might say ah hah, I'm not the only one over here who recognizes some value here.
Anyway I just hit a wall here. I don't know if my points are going to be understood in their proper context. This response was very difficult for me to translate from my pattern way of thinking, into verbal expression, and finally into proper English and convey it to my fingers. I've been mulling this over for close to 2 hours. All my neurons are now firing together and I'm losing my focus, there's smoke coming out of my forehead, so I have to get out for a bicycle ride to cool down!
I guess tedster's view is from a more commercial perspective -- nothing wrong with that because that's his bread and butter and/or his preferred focus. As I often like to do I'll give a counter view, not to be confrontational, but for the sake of provoking debate which often helps us whittle down a topic until we collectively exhaust it. That is usually the point where we've reach a consensus that we have the OP in proper perspective -- though not necessarily resolved, if there is even a resolution. Many times there is no such thing as a cut and dry right or wrong outcome.