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Old 02-20-2013, 07:43 PM   #1
Gregg Bell
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Another keywords question.

Ironically, (I just read that other post about lengthening titles) I've become pretty convinced that short titles are best (for memories and sales). But my question is about keywords. Just when as an author am I using them? I know supposedly the metadata is involved and search engines are somehow looking at that, but beyond that I'm pretty clueless. Thanks.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:30 PM   #2
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Keywords are how ppl find your listing in searches. So if I want a book about "mythical puppies of doom" and your book has those key words, it will come up in the search.

So decide what people might search for that should lead them to you, and use that as your keywords.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:59 PM   #3
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Mostly what VyderScope said, but also: I wouldn't panic too much about keywords inside the ebook metadata. Despite all the blog articles saying how important the ebook metadata is, as far as I can tell very few places use the ebook metadata in any consistent manner*. The keywords you need to worry about are those on your website/blog and any keyword fields offered by your distributors.

* Probably because the "standard" is only standard about the highly technical bits, and ignore all the truly useful and practical aspects - like how to implement formatting for descriptions etc.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:12 PM   #4
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Thanks Vydor

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Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
Keywords are how ppl find your listing in searches. So if I want a book about "mythical puppies of doom" and your book has those key words, it will come up in the search.

So decide what people might search for that should lead them to you, and use that as your keywords.
That is a really simple description and just what I needed.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:19 PM   #5
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Mostly what VyderScope said, but also: I wouldn't panic too much about keywords inside the ebook metadata. Despite all the blog articles saying how important the ebook metadata is, as far as I can tell very few places use the ebook metadata in any consistent manner*. The keywords you need to worry about are those on your website/blog and any keyword fields offered by your distributors.

* Probably because the "standard" is only standard about the highly technical bits, and ignore all the truly useful and practical aspects - like how to implement formatting for descriptions etc.
Thanks gmw. Yeah, I really had no idea about the meta keyword stuff. Thanks for getting rid of that ghost for me. And I get that I'll have to do the keywords in the keyword fields in the distributors, but how am I going to have the keywords in my blog (no website yet)? The novel I've got coming out is Man of God, and the name of my blog is The Underdog's Corner. Won't be getting too many matches there I suppose. (lol) But how do I get it so I get some matches?
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:48 AM   #6
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First up the disclaimer. There is a whole big thing called SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that is now so specialised you can hire experts to aid you in getting it right. What I'm offering here is very much an amateur's perspective, so keep that in mind. I imagine that anyone that knows better will correct me, but my understanding (and very limited experience) goes something like this:

The importance of keywords (as distinct from content) in site metadata has changed over time, largely because of abuse of the feature. This makes the topic more complicated than it need be. For most purposes (appearing on Google etc.) the content of your site will be indexed. So presuming you have a page or article or two that actually mention your book and some relevant details then your site will get indexed and available for searching.

Where hidden keywords may become more important is where you have a good book title like "The Things Kids Do". If your book is about children then you might want "children" in your site keywords, if it's actually about goats then "goat" and "goats" might need to be there. (Although if you have these words in the main text of the article then it may not matter very much.)

Access to site metadata depends on the software you are using. The theme I use under WordPress has a section dedicated to SEO that I have largely ignored at the moment. If you don't have access to assign keywords yourself then, as I suggested above, you may offset this lack simply by making sure your content contains the words you need.

And don't get too panicky about keywords - as long as the words you need are being found somewhere on your site. SEO is a much bigger topic than keywords. For example a major factor in your placement in search results involves how many sites link to your pages.

And to conclude with another disclaimer (because I hate sounding more knowledgeable than my credentials warrant): If in doubt, research. Read about SEO. Do some searches and see what comes up, check out the source for the top pages and see what they did.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:45 AM   #7
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Don't worry about the keyword meta tag on your website. Google ignores it (and has 65% of the global search market: it's nearest rival has 8.2%). At Bing, using the keywords meta tag might actually harm your ranking.

My own advice would be this: write good content, don't try and optimise for search engines. Search engines are a constantly-moving target, since they're constantly tweaking and adjusting their algorithms. Those tweaks are always designed to do one of two things: (1) make them better at finding good content or (2) make them better at ignoring sites that use SEO instead of writing good content. In other words, if you write good content, the search engine's programmers will be doing SEO for you
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:37 PM   #8
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thanks Russell

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Don't worry about the keyword meta tag on your website. Google ignores it (and has 65% of the global search market: it's nearest rival has 8.2%). At Bing, using the keywords meta tag might actually harm your ranking.

My own advice would be this: write good content, don't try and optimise for search engines. Search engines are a constantly-moving target, since they're constantly tweaking and adjusting their algorithms. Those tweaks are always designed to do one of two things: (1) make them better at finding good content or (2) make them better at ignoring sites that use SEO instead of writing good content. In other words, if you write good content, the search engine's programmers will be doing SEO for you
That is total music to my ear. I have been chasing my tail for quite a while now thinking if I don't get every keyword in the perfect spot I'm doomed. I really needed to hear your common sense approach to this. Thanks!
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:10 PM   #9
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There is 3 different kids of keywords being talked about here...

1) those in the meta data of the ebook - these are probably useless


2) Those for SEO - these are religiously argued till the end of time. I would not spend much time on them, but adding some well thought ones is prudent. After all if you can get 6% of the search traffic to your site, it would probably crumble under the load.


3) Those in Amazon, and other stores - THESE are important. These get right. They do impact sales, IME. These are the ones I was talking about. Most people will not find your web site in Google, the will be looking in Amazon/etc for books and find you there. So focus your efforts there.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
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2) Those for SEO - these are religiously argued till the end of time. I would not spend much time on them, but adding some well thought ones is prudent. After all if you can get 6% of the search traffic to your site, it would probably crumble under the load.
The link I posted above says that Bing only look at the keywords meta tag as a potential spam flag, they don't use it for ranking.

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3) Those in Amazon, and other stores - THESE are important. These get right. They do impact sales, IME. These are the ones I was talking about. Most people will not find your web site in Google, the will be looking in Amazon/etc for books and find you there. So focus your efforts there.
I agree. My advice was about website keywords, because I thought that was what the OP was asking about.
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:17 PM   #11
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Thanks Vydor

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Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
There is 3 different kids of keywords being talked about here...

1) those in the meta data of the ebook - these are probably useless


2) Those for SEO - these are religiously argued till the end of time. I would not spend much time on them, but adding some well thought ones is prudent. After all if you can get 6% of the search traffic to your site, it would probably crumble under the load.


3) Those in Amazon, and other stores - THESE are important. These get right. They do impact sales, IME. These are the ones I was talking about. Most people will not find your web site in Google, the will be looking in Amazon/etc for books and find you there. So focus your efforts there.
That really clears it up for me. There's so much talk about keywords and it seems people never specify which type of keyword they're talking about. Now I finally know the categories. So #2 would be Google, Bing, etc., right?
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:19 PM   #12
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My advice was about website keywords, because I thought that was what the OP was asking about.
The OP didn't know what he was asking about! LOL (He thinks he does now though!) Thanks!
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:45 PM   #13
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That really clears it up for me. There's so much talk about keywords and it seems people never specify which type of keyword they're talking about. Now I finally know the categories. So #2 would be Google, Bing, etc., right?
Correct.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:28 PM   #14
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follow-up ?

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Correct.
Thanks Vincent. But on #2 (Amazon) is it just the seven keywords they let you have that figure in the search results, or does the product description (like 500 words) figure into too?
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:03 AM   #15
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Thanks Vincent. But on #2 (Amazon) is it just the seven keywords they let you have that figure in the search results, or does the product description (like 500 words) figure into too?
Lots of things factor in to their search, including keywords that OTHER people put on you book. I believe (but not real sure) they do use both. I try to pick key words that are not already in my description.
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