You are no doubt familiar with the concept of ordinary content in the form of an article. The information in the article is usually based around the main keyword or keyword phrase, and the article is commonly around 400 to 500 words in length.
The main keyword is used in the title, once in the first paragraph, and again three or four times throughout the article in order to tell the search engines what the article is about.
This works well. It provides useful information if the article is well written, and it can provide a valuable backlink to a website through a linked piece of text in the body of the article, or in a resource box at the end of the article.
The reader receives a benefit (the information), the writer receives a benefit (the writer is paid) and the person who is responsible for having the article written also receives a benefit (the backlink to the website). Everyone wins.
Article marketing has taken this form since its inception. Why, therefore, should you consider changing to themed content? And what is themed content anyway?
What Is Themed Content?
While an ordinary article can be found in the search engines for its main keyword, and may even rank well, it is still just one keyword. You can enhance that situation by including two or three secondary keywords, but the article will still typically only rank in the search engines for a mere handful of keywords.
Themed content can typically rank for a dozen or more keywords. An article that is properly themed will contain all the words and phrases that Google has already indicated as being important to the particular topic of the article.
These words and phrases will be synonyms of the main keyword, alternative meanings, closely related terms, and so on. They are the kind of words and phrases that we would expect to find in any written material on a specific subject.
For example, suppose the topic of the article is “Fix Credit Problems.” You will find that the top 10 results in Google will all contain a majority of the following words somewhere in the text of the page: bills, borrow, card, check, clear, companies, consumer, credit, debt, denied, erasing, financial, fix, good, help, history, information, interest, issues, late, loans, mortgage, pay, payment, personal, problems, rating, repair, repayment, report, score, services, trouble.
This is no coincidence either. Google expects these words to be found in an article that deals with fixing credit problems, and the articles that include these words are rewarded by being ranked highly in the Google index.
Of course, the number of backlinks, the level of on-page SEO and other factors will all have an important bearing on where any article gets ranked, but if the article has all the essential theme words in place, and it is well written, then it is perfectly placed to rank very well.
The Authority Set
Google goes one step further. It has a set of “authority” results for any given keyword or keyword phrase. If an article has a majority of the necessary essential theme words that Google recognizes, then the article will be included in the authority set. If not, it gets dumped in the supplemental pages.
Try this… Do a search on Google for the phrase, “fix credit problems” without the quotation marks. You should see around 43,700,000 results mentioned just under the search bar (at the time of writing). That’s a lot! But are there really that many search results?
OK, let’s see, shall we?
If you adjust the search setting so that Google returns 100 results at a time instead of the usual 10, you can do this much faster. When you get to page 8 you should find this at the bottom of the page:
“In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 792 already displayed.”
In other words, Google only shows us 792 results for the phrase, “fix credit problems,” because those are the only results that Google actually values. This is Google’s authority set of results for this keyword phrase.
Your article only has to beat these 792 top results to get ranked at number one for this particular keyword. Forget about a competition level of 43,700,000! All you have to do is concentrate on the really important 792 authority set (in this example).
Does that sound easier? Of course it does!
This is why themed content is different from ordinary content. When an article contains the theme words that Google has already shown to be important, then it will be included in the authority set. And each authority set is anywhere from around 400 results to 1,000 results. Google may state that the results for a keyword are in the millions, but now we know the reality is quite different.
When an article contains the essential theme words for a particular keyword or keyword phrase, it will be ranked in Google’s authority set. The better themed the article is, the higher it will rank. When you add good backlinks to the article, it will rank very high in the Google results. This is why properly themed content is superior to ordinary content.
But there’s more…
Properly themed content has such a rich mix of relevant words and phrases that it gets ranked for dozens – even hundreds – of different words and phrases, all of them highly important to the basic topic, or theme, of the article.
The ordinary article, by comparison, will rank for just one keyword, or a handful at best.
Latent Semantic Indexing
In 2003 Google purchased a technology pioneered by a company called Applied Semantics. It has become known to us today as a technology called Latent Semantic Indexing, or LSI. The technology achieves semantic text processing, which is a bit like how the human brain works.
The press release that Google distributed following its acquisition of the technology in 2003 reads in part:
“Applied Semantics’ products are based on its patented CIRCA technology, which understands, organizes, and extracts knowledge from websites and information repositories in a way that mimics human thought and enables more effective information retrieval.”
In other words, LSI, or theming, works like the human brain. It makes associations in a similar way. It’s really a case of a robotic system copying the human brain so that humans can be served a result that they feel more comfortable with because it mimics the way they think.
Themed content gives people something they are more comfortable with, and it gives the search engines exactly what they want too. There are only winners all round with no losers.
An analysis of the top pages in Google for a given keyword will show that the results at the top use more theme words than the results found towards the end of the authority set.
If you take the trouble to analyze the results that are not found in the authority set, the ones that Google says it has omitted, you will find that they are poorly themed, if indeed they are themed at all.
This is what makes the difference between themed content and ordinary content, and it can work to make a considerable difference in your article writing efforts too. Forget about keyword density, secondary keywords and where to place them all for the best effect. Think theming instead.
The Panda update by Google that started in early 2011, has surely shown anyone who knows anything about web content that Google only wants the highest quality content in its index.
There is no higher quality web content than properly themed content, in Google’s opinion.
Test any authority set for any keyword yourself, and you will see that the very best themed content is right up there at the top. The number and quality of backlinks, SEO, Page Rank, and other factors may skew the results to some degree, but not nearly as much as you might think.