Keywords do have feelings, after all.


By Rachel Cornish

The great thing about being part of a digital marketing team is you can argue and discuss really important concepts such as how online marketing and psychology interact.

Keywords have feelings

Not everyone knows how keywords react, but we all know how people react in different ways. People have feelings and people get hurt, or get stroppy. Think back to school and the awful practise of ‘choosing teams’ – the delight of being chosen first or the shame and unhappiness of being chosen last.

Well it will be a surprise to some people – that keywords might have feelings after all. I’m aware this goes completely against an ExtraDigital article on independent AdWords advice, but in a democratic and tolerant society all viewpoints should be expressed. So this is why it is worth describing why keywords might have feelings after all, despite a previous article suggesting the opposite.

On the internet when you search using a keyword or keyword you get a set of results back, and then you might click on one of these. The search engine Google keeps track of all these clicks and works out popularity scores – just like ‘choosing teams’ in school. When a keyword phrase produces a good set of results that web visitors click onto, Google gives the keyword phrase extra house or team points (in reality a positive score). This makes the keyword very happy. Absurd? No – you can see these happy keywords when you start typing a search phrase – they are the ones jumping up and down to be noticed (or shown in the search box). Jumping up and down and being louder or more noticeable is a classic behaviour when you are happy.

But sometimes a search produces poor results. This is noticeable as most people click away and a black mark is given.  The keyword might become unhappy, In fact so unhappy it does not want to appear. You can see this for yourself when Google suggests alternatives. Hiding and withdrawing are classic behaviours when you are sad.

Ethical considerations

There is an ethical question here on the rights of a search engine to impact the feelings of a keyword, and we wait to see whether keyword counselling services will get setup and who will fund these.

Practical Considerations

The more practical question is fully understanding how actual click behaviour impacts which search results will be shown in future – and this is where SEO in practise gets interesting.

Creative Marketing Services

ExtraDigital provide SEO and creative services – even creative SEO services for many businesses and organisations. Successful marketing requires both creativity and a good understanding of the technical aspects of search.

PS: If you'd like a list of the happy and sad keywords for your website then get in touch!

Friday 12th April 2013

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