Are Keywords Going To Be An Important Ranking Factor In 2020?

By Strahinja | Tips

Dec 07

There will always be a push towards using keywords. After all those little words and phrases do drive a lot of traffic to your door. The short tail keywords produce a lot of volume for many people and businesses who operate their own websites.

But search engine ranking requirements are always changing. What worked for people in 2010 is not going to work in 2020. The importance of keywords is diminishing and should not be as valuable a ranking factor as other strategies.


Keywords Used To Be King

Back in 2010 and earlier, rankings were all about keywords. The more you stuffed your article with them, the better results you had. But the importance of keywords has been changing since that year.

are keywords going to be an important ranking factor in 2020

Other factors started to get more important as Google started to get a little wiser. For example, content has overtaken keywords as an important ranking tool. You could still use keywords but if the content was lacking, so was your ranking.

This has been the trend over the past few years and keyword importance has dropped. Keywords are still vital and you will still hear a lot about using them well and which ones you should use and so on. They are just not the only factor on the block anymore.

Behavioral Factors Are Taking Over

Keywords have been a vital part of ranking your website for almost 20 years now, if not longer. But as everyone knows Google and other search engines keep changing the playing field and promote other SEO strategies and Internet actions to be an integral part of ranking decisions.

are keywords going to be an important ranking factor in 2020

In fact, Google has about 200 ranking factors it uses to determine where your website sits on their ranking schedule. And keywords are slipping down the list. They are not as important ranking tool as they used to be.

What is taking over are behavioral aspects when a searcher visits a website. In one study of ranking factors keywords were beaten by 11 other elements. The top element was direct website visits.

are keywords going to be an important ranking factor in 2020

But that was not all that topped keywords. They were beaten by time on site, pages looked at per session, bounce rate. Referring domains, backlinks, content length and a lot more.

Keywords are not as important as how your visitors react to and act on your website.

There Are Other Important Factors

question face

Keywords have had their moment in the sun. Other ranking elements are being given far greater value than keywords. Here are just a few of those ranking elements that have gained in power and importance:

#1. Site Speed

This has been an important factor for over a year. How fast your website responds to visitor clicks is now a vital part of your ranking. User experience is gaining in importance and site speed affects user experience. A slow site will turn people off and have them move on quickly to another website.

site speed

Making sure your website moves fast is going to help you rank better than using keywords.

#2. Internal Links

These have to be done naturally if you want to get a better SERP ranking. You can’t stuff your web pages with internal links and think you have fooled Google into giving you a higher rating.

internal links

The key here is to interlink your web pages so both your visitors and search engines can navigate your site very easily.

#3. A Lack Of Broken Links

Broken links are a ranking spoiler. That means you have to go through your web pages find and fix any broken links that are present. You may not think this is important but search engines do check to see if any links you have are broken and not usable.

broken link

You can remove any broken links to defunct websites and help your cause some as well. What happens on other websites is not your fault, but you can still be penalized for their actions.

#4. Being Mobile Friendly

With more and more people turning to their cellphones to do Internet searches, how a website responds is becoming more of a factor than keywords. Your website needs to be mobile or cell phone friendly if you hope to bounce up the rankings.

mobile friendly

Being mobile friendly helps you provide a better user experience which is already mentioned as more important than keyword use.

#5. Content Is Still King

What you say and how you say it is by far more important than which keywords you use. The keywords may attract people to your website but it is your content that keeps them there.


Content will directly influence time on site and number of pages viewed per session. If you have lousy content do not expect people to stay long on your site nor visit a lot of pages.

You need to make sure you know what you are talking about and say it in a manner that gives you an air of authority and so on.

#6. Backlinks

Are ranked higher in importance when it comes to Google ranking system. This is different from broken links to other websites. This is other websites linking to yours. The more backlinks you have from authoritative websites the better you are.

link building

Your relevancy and importance in the eyes of search engines is determined by the quality of websites that backlink to yours.

Some Final Words

Keywords serve a vital purpose and although they are losing their importance to other ranking factors, they still play a top role in how your website ranks. That is because your keywords help drive traffic to your door.

website visitors

Without them, you may not get half the traffic you should have. But keywords are just not enough anymore. Keeping visitors on your website is becoming more important than how they got there.

Your visitors behavior, their time on your website, the pages they read and other behavioral factors have outranked keywords in importance. If you want a better ranking, you need to spend more time on those behavioral elements that help you rank higher.

Thank you for reading.


About the Author

Hi there. I'm just a regular guy that worked many different jobs before finding out about affiliate marketing. Decided to give it a try, followed the instructions, worked hard and started making money online. Here to help you achieve same thing. Working from home is possible if you have the proper training and people.

  • Dor says:

    Amazing article! I want to start an affiliate blog and after I read this article I’m sure it will help me when I start.
    A keyword is really important for organic traffic and rankings on google…So thank you for the article It gave me a lot of useful information!

  • Lynz says:

    Since I am new to blogging, I really have limited knowledge on this area. I find it really interesting to know a little history as well as how this digital platform had evolved over the years.

    I really appreciate the tips provided. I will definitely make it a point to take note of these tips. I think the first thing I will be looking at are the broken links!

    Once again, thank you very much!

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