If you haven’t heard of topical optimization yet, you’re not alone. It’s still a relatively new strategy being discussed, and people are learning about exactly what it is and how it works.
That’s not entirely true though. People have actually been talking about it for a really long time. Chances are you’ve heard all about. It just didn’t have a name before.
Before diving in to what makes topical optimization so important, there needs to be a little talk about how we got here in the first place. It’ll help you understand what makes topical optimization so important moving forward, and how you can adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.
Search Engines vs. Marketers
Since the dawn of time (or at least the dawn of the internet) there has been an epic struggle taking place right before our eyes. It’s the struggle between finding the information you want on the internet, and avoiding all the crap out there. At the forefront of this battle are search engines.
There are more than one billion websites out there. Trillions of pages of content, blogs, e-stores, and hilarious cat pictures. Spoiler alert: not all of it is great content. Some of it is downright terrible.
Google has developed algorithms over the years that help people find what they’re searching for, while avoiding spam websites, and terrible content. They’ve done this a variety of ways over, but modern day SEO is a combination of keywords, backlinks from other websites, and domain authority.
The problem with most of Google’s algorithms is that the code is eventually cracked. This leads to a cat and mouse game. Google wants to give you the most relevant results, and marketers want to be at the top. When marketers know Google’s formula, they can exploit it and rise in the search results. Being at the top is a huge advantage. So Google will tweak the algorithms and the marketers will adjust their strategy. Google always needs to stay one step ahead, so you, the user, get what you’re actually looking for.
We’re now at a point where Google’s latest adjustments to its algorithms will benefit a topical optimization strategy. Let’s talk about that.
You Know What Topical Optimization Is
It may be a newer buzzword, but people have been talking about topical optimization for a long time. It’s simply creating great content.
In previous algorithms, marketers could stuff pages with keywords to land higher in Google’s results. This lead to a TON of poor content being generated by people that barely spoke English. Google noticed the problem and realized that if it isn’t good content, no one would link to it. So it penalized content with no inbound links, and rewarded content that was linked to externally by other sites – especially other sites that were considered trustworthy.
This worked well for a while, but marketing experts once again exploited this by finding ways to get links to their content on these other sites. They would either pay the site, or create content for the site that linked back to their page. Once this started to happen, Google could no longer trust that the content being linked to was a high quality – no matter how many links it had, or how authoritative the link was.
This takes us to today. Google now rewards websites with well written content, that is consistently generated, and shared by real people. Topical optimization is just creating great content for your website in your area you specialize in.
Creating Content for Topical Optimization
This is where you need to slow your roll a bit if you’re here to learn how to game the system. Moz has discovered that Google will penalize sites that have a higher spam score. So hiring some budget overseas freelancer to write a ton of content won’t do you much good. The content needs to be relevant, linked together, and on topic.
Part of your SEO strategy should just be investing in great content. Hire quality writers that can provide real information on your topics. Have them write regularly and share the information on social media. This will grow organically and you’ll be dominating topical optimization before you know it.
Create great content in your niche. In a nutshell, that’s topical optimization.
Don’t Abandon Keywords
Keywords aren’t’ dead. They’re still a major part of Google’s algorithm. The algorithm itself is a complex formula that includes hundreds of factors to generate your page rank.
If your strategy involves keywords, keep on trucking. Just make sure you’re not stuffing them into crap content. In fact, don’t change anything you’re doing, except upping the quality of your content.
Topical optimization will penalize content that is written just for keywords. The keywords can be there, but make the content meaningful and sharable will help you get the most out of topical optimization.
Search engine optimization will always be a cat and mouse game. If you’re constantly trying to game the system, it may work for a while, but Google will pull out the rug once it catches on. No strategy will survive forever – except the strategy of creating meaningful content. Google wants people to find that kind of content. If you create it, you’ve nailed your topical optimization strategy.