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Building SEO for an absent Keyword?
Abstract SEO Building
nitefox

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3762419 posted 8:47 pm on Oct 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

How can I build SEO directly around a specific keyword while not having that specific keyword anywhere in my content or description tags?

 

buckworks

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3762419 posted 5:10 am on Dec 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

very different definitions of 'honest SEO'

So it would seem.

Think deeper about LSI. And spend some time playing with the AdWords keyword suggestion tool. It reveals some very interesting things about how Google thinks.

It's not the least bit unusual for the tool to suggest competing companies' names in the "Additional keywords to consider" section. Google clearly sees the competitors as relevant to each other even though it's likely that most of them didn't purposefully aim at that.

Figure out why it's happening in a particular result set and you'll have plenty of fodder for some pure-as-the-driven-snow strategies for aiming at unusual but relevant targets.

Shaddows

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3762419 posted 11:31 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Take a vegatable-extract based caffeine drink where the proper generic name is "cola" where the brand derived its name from the practice of using Coca plants in the production process. Just the 4-letter version, not the full name. Hereafter <brand>.

Now, here in the UK, <brand> is used as the generic term. I worked in a pub selling a rival cola. About 95% of the time, people asked for a "vodka + <brand>". Or just a <brand>. Rarely did they ask for the correct brand, nor for the generic "cola".

Now, if I had a new cola on the market, I might like to have an above-the-fold listing for searches on <brand>. I guarentee my site would not last long enough to rank for <brand> if the name was mentioned. Definately would be shut down.

Now, Google has some good co-occurance algorithms working away. Taking advantage of these, I could get my ShaddowCola ranked. Probably not #1, but probably page 1, though with a lot of effort.

As for the morals of ranking, I think treating SEO as a moral issue is a farce. Google is a company, trying to return relavent results. They are responsible for the results they display to their customers- SEARCHERS. They scrape the web for those results. We all want to play in their garden, and Google can treat us as they wish. They have established rules. Play within those rules, and you are fine.

Ethics only come into play when you are working for a client, and are not making them aware of the risks you are running by engaging in practices that some consider immoral but that are infact merely manipulative.

Finally, google is a 'search' engine, not a 'find' engine. You enter your term, G returns relavant results. Second-guessing the intent of the seacher a priori by saying the brand name should by necessity be top is madness. Having criteria to determine relavancy and posting results in accordance with this is the way SEs should (and, for the most part, do) work.

edit-style codes

[edited by: Shaddows at 11:33 am (utc) on Dec. 30, 2008]

buckworks

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3762419 posted 8:39 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hey folks, have you tasted Shaddows' new cola drink?

It's a <a href="http://www.example.com/"> pathetic little <Brand> wannabe</a>.

Quadrille

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Msg#: 3762419 posted 11:16 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's not about brand or no brand. It's about delivering results related to the search term entered. Or delivering results that are NOT what was requested, but which happens to suit your client.

The original question was
How can I build SEO directly around a specific keyword while not having that specific keyword anywhere in my content or description tags?

There's no 'right answer' as to whether there's morality or immorality involved; that's entirely a personal POV.

I'd simply ask you to consider "how would you feel, if your site was one that got pushed down the <keyword> serps by a site that did not mention <keyword> Once."

No answers necessary (that kind of discussion cannot ever change anyone's mind, so there's no point) ... but we all have a view, including the searcher, and Google, who take a fierce pride in the quality of their serps. And any other sites that feel hard done by.

And, of course, it is not without risk - I've seen more than one thread (here) where people have commented on sites 'without <keyword> that rank above them'.

My advice has always been "report it to Google; it's an inappropriate result". Interestingly, it seems less common now that paidlinks have become a danger area, but that may be coincidence.

buckworks

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3762419 posted 11:41 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

results related to the search term entered

The assumption in the OP is that the product being promoted does indeed have significant relevance to the search term.

If that were not the case, there would be no conceivable commercial reason for taking aim at that particular SERP.

Quadrille

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Msg#: 3762419 posted 1:01 am on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Relevance in the webmaster's mind; not necessarily in the mind of the searcher, or Google.

After all, if you were searching for <brand>, just exactly how impressed would you be to be served

Hey folks, have you tasted Shaddows' new cola drink?
It's a <a href="http://www.example.com/"> pathetic little <Brand> wannabe</a>.

And even if YOU personally loved the stuff, by what right do you substitute it, unasked, when someone specifically asked for <brand>

But hey, we're going around in circles again ;)

In my dictionary, ethical doesn't mean "it suits my client" - your mileage may vary. ;)

[edited by: Quadrille at 1:30 am (utc) on Dec. 31, 2008]

buckworks

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3762419 posted 5:52 am on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

by what right do you substitute it

The name brand would not stop showing in searches for its own name ... What is being substituted?

Quadrille

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3762419 posted 5:59 am on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Do the math; you are inserting your 'no <keyword> site'; something has to give. Serps pages tend to hold a finite number of pages.

You use whatever method to insert yours into the serps, all URLs below are one or two places lower.

Your argument sounds to me like tax evasion; is it really a victimless crime - or does someone somewhere lose out?

I'd argue that there is more than your client at stake in a serp; there's other people's clients, there's the searcher, there's the search engine.

phranque

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3762419 posted 6:36 am on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

After all, if you were searching for <brand>, just exactly how impressed would you be to be served
Hey folks, have you tasted Shaddows' new cola drink?
It's a <a href="http://www.example.com/"> pathetic little <Brand> wannabe</a>.

you would not necessarily get served the page with that anchor text, but it would certainly help the linked url for that search term.

and i would argue that competing products or technologies are relevant to a brand search.
if i were interested in a certain type of software i would certainly also be interested to know about the competition and would not consider such a search result to be irrelevant.
the argument is even stronger when the product is a commodity, such as a cola drink.

Shaddows

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3762419 posted 9:39 am on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

the argument is even stronger when the product is a commodity, such as a cola drink.

Precisely my point. And particularly more so when a (TM) is used as the generic discriptor in common parlance. To name a few (UK examples, apologies if they do not translate)

Hoover (Vacuum Cleaner)
Sellotape (Sticky Tape)
verb form: "Google it" (search for it)
US example: Bandaid (plaster)
Then there's all manner of pharmaceuticals, where the generic term is not even be known to many (asprin, viagra)

The long and short of it is that people will very often use a brand name WITHOUT REALISING it is a brand. They think it IS the generic term.

It would be anti-capitalist to remove all possibility of competing for those terms on SEs.

@buckworks
WRT "pathetic... wannabe". The cola served in the pub I worked would really not like to be considered so. It begins with a P and spends more on advertising than the <brand>.

Mods/admins: I know I'm scating on thin ice re: TOS. I've tried to skirt the issue on previous posts, but feel I cannot make my point without brands here.

buckworks

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3762419 posted 10:05 am on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WRT "pathetic... wannabe". The cola served in the pub I worked would really not like to be considered so.

I'm sure of that ... but a description like that would be hard for <brand> to object to, wouldn't it! ;)

Quadrille

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3762419 posted 8:56 pm on Jan 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

a description like that would be hard for <brand> to object to, wouldn't it!

Nope.

A trademark is a trademark is a trademark, where the law is concerned.

Even standing on its head and dancing the tango. :)

Shaddows

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3762419 posted 9:18 pm on Jan 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

Mmmm, I'm with Quadrille on using TMs. There is such a thing as Fair Use, but promoting a rival brand is not such a use.

I might want to rank for <brand> but I could never mention <brand>...
although, if I only used it in tags would I be infringing?.

No, how I would do it is find pages that rank well for "<brand>", find the words that are close to <brand> on the page, and other words that commonly occur across a range of pages. Basically, find <brand>'s secondary (or non-proprietal) keyphrases and use Google's keyword suggestions, and go from there.

Again, how much work for how much benefit is a question that needs some serious consideration.

buckworks

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3762419 posted 3:15 am on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

if I only used it in tags would I be infringing

Mentioning it in tags was not part of the original thought experiment.

Mentioning it in tags would be a lot closer to infringing than using it in anchor text in editorially defensible ways.

Ponder this: mentioning it in tags would not carry enough SEO weight to achieve anything useful (not on its own, anyhow).

There's little point to pushing the limits in ways that have no hope of achieving the goal!

Shaddows

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3762419 posted 9:43 am on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ponder this: mentioning it in tags would not carry enough SEO weight to achieve anything useful (not on its own, anyhow).

No, I agree. It was just a random thought that wandered through my mind as I was typing.

Wouldn't the anchor text idea be Google Bombing, and thus (due to previous abuse), any attempt would result in miserable failure?

buckworks

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3762419 posted 4:16 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

As Digital Ghost pointed out early in this thread, "Google bombing is intended to make a site rank for semantically unrelated words or concepts."

In the present discussion, there would be a great deal of built-in natural relevance, and strong semantic relationships to work with.

Let's change gears a bit to think in terms of a less touchy "absent keyword" goal: ranking for a common misspelling.

The how-to's would be very much the same but removing the trademark question might make it easier for some folks to conceptualize.

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