Another Look at Keyword Selection in Light of Google’s Changes 69 Comments
Another Look at Keyword Selection in Light of Google’s Changes

Information Seeking Keywords Are OK

Although typical information seeking keywords such as “will eating water melon help me lose weight?” won’t convert to sales as high as “fat loss for idiots review” the fact is that the person typing this into Google is still your target market if you’re in the weight loss niche, as they have shown a desire to lose weight.

Your goal is to take these people on a journey that will convert them into a sale. The best way to progress people along this journey is through email marketing. By collecting emails and building relationship with your list you’ll convert much higher, and move info seekers to buyers.

I have noticed this happening recently actually with my ecommerce store. I have a series of videos that I do for subscribers when they sign up, much like I do for this blog list, and in the videos I provide more information about how to use my products, and I see more sales coming from the products the videos are about.

Mix It Up

One more important reminder is make sure you don’t target just one keyword per piece of content either, as this is like walking into the GooglePlex wearing skin tight pink spandex and hoping no one with notice you, hence the image I used for this post!

Remember to keep everything looking nice and natural, “nothing out of the ordinary happening here Google, nope I don’t do keyword targeting, goodness no I would never dream of such a thing, I love Google and support what you guys do, so I just leave it up to you guys to decide what sites should be at the top, I just write great content….”

Of course I’m sure you can spot my sarcasm there. My point being that yes we need to plan and target for keywords that get traffic, but we need to do it better than we use to be able to.


To conclude, if you want to market websites via organic search engine traffic, you need to be choosing keywords for your sites more carefully these days, and always keep in mind the user experience. Do not build websites solely on highly specific buyer keywords, as this will look suspicious and expose your sites to the very real risk of getting slapped by Google. Build it for the user folks, sorry to harp on about this, but I still see people following outdated advice so I want to make sure I get this message across.


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49 Comments to Another Look at Keyword Selection in Light of Google’s Changes

  1. Tyler V's Gravatar Tyler V
    June 22, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Sounds like great advice Matt, Thanks for the Info! I just started your free video series and one of the webinars (five figure sites) that you promote in your 5th email suggests the very thing your warning us to stay away from; TARGETING BUY WORDS!

    Since I’m new and nothing is dated on your blog its hard to tell whats good, relevant, and up-to-date information. Perhaps removing older articles that may include unsound advice would be helpful for those like me.

    Thanks again for all your help!

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hi Tyler

    Yeah that webinar does teach that, but I know Sara the owner has changed her approach a fair bit since that webinar, after all the Google updates so I need to update the webinar actually. You can still target some of these buyer type phrases, but like I mentioned in this post you need to careful and do not have a whole site full of only these.

  2. June 22, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Great advice as always Matt.

    We need to adapt to the change if we want to succeed in SEO.

  3. June 22, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Yes Matt I agree with you, totally. I have read a topic in part of a broad topic by Dori Friend on this. But, this is the most specific topic in selecting keywords I have ever read so far.

    Matt, again you never fail to amaze us the way you provide FREE reports and ideas that are sold by others. Keep it up mate. 🙂

  4. joe's Gravatar joe
    June 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Great Post, thanks for all the great info! My question is will you still be supporting rapid profit formula? I bought it a few months and want to know if I should still use it.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hi Joe

    I updated that course before closing it down, so I won’t be adding any new updates, but I made sure it was relevant before finishing it.


  5. June 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    G’day Matt ,

    Couldn’t agree more with you .

    I think this may have just been a “Freudian slip” :

    “nothing out of the ordering happening here”

    Cheers ,

    Norman Holden

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hi Norman

    Thanks for spotting that…ha ha, I fixed it now.



  6. June 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff as usual Matt.

    Keyword research is always a bit of a dart board shot to me. I know the theory, but as soon as I think I have it down, the theory goes from a flat world to one that they now say is round. Believe that? So one goes more or less back to square one, head scratching the whole way.

    Then, there is search volume for a specific keyword, and that opens up another flat world, round world window. Had a guy tell me the other day that anything under 10,000 searches per month on Google, is just a Wild A** Guess by Google and should not be relied upon. REALLY?

    All I can say is “Keep it up kid, you are the best.”

    Paul W.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    High Paul

    Yeah keywords can be tricky. As for search volume, I am happy aiming for volumes as low as 100 exact match, BUT the key is to target more than one per page.

  7. June 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Aloha Matt, very nice post as usual and with changes online it sure makes it a challenge for most. But I see with persistence those who push themselves further usually stays on top or near what Google is expecting online.

    I like your analogy with the pink spandex and gosh that would be a sight for soar eyes and hardly a way to be missed. Very cool! I appreciate all the value you give and share. Mahalo, Lani 🙂

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hi Lani

    Nice to hear from you again!

    yes it would be a site to see, and glad you liked this post.


  8. June 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    What a good post! I’m working on my new site following your advise to the “t”. I’ve stopped chasing after quick bucks which didn’t work for me anyway but have told myself I need to build a strong relationship based list of prospective customers and then slowly convert them to buyers.

    This takes a lot of perseverance as you say but will have a good ROI.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hi John

    Great stuff, sounds like you are on the right path.


  9. June 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    I always click the link on your email to read your post. As always, your post loaded with current happening in IM scene and provide valuable insight and tips.

    Oh, I love your letter to google ha ha


  10. June 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Thanks again Matt for the great advice. I have actually found keyword research much easier since I got SECockpit at your webinar 🙂

  11. June 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    I have been on your mailing list for some time now and greatly appreciate all the insightful information that you regularly post on your blog. Very interested in this post concerning the “new” way of doing KW research. Amazing how many “new” products being sold are still raving about the need to target only buyer keywords for your affiliate sites. Still lots of confusion in the market I guess over what works and what doesn’t.

    I do have one area of concern though. Recently I purchased AfflioBlueprint 3.0 via your link and nearly 3 weeks later, I still have yet to receive my bonuses for buying through your link. I apologize for bringing this fact to your attention in this blog comment, however I have been trying to contact you through a variety of your e-mail address and never received any replies to my inquiries. I would really appreciate a reply from you on how to get my bonuses since the staff@mattsmarketingblog contact for the bonuses didn’t seem to have worked for me.

    Thanks Matt! 🙂

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hi Barry

    We have replied to all emails about the bonus, so I assume your email is bouncing back, as some of them did. I had one call me all sorts of name but the issue was his email was not working so we couldn’t reply to him although we tried three times. I suggest emailing us from a different email address and make sure you send to with your receipt.

  12. June 22, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the info Matt and just as your previous articles have been, I am pretty sure you are on the money.
    I am now currently in the process of untangling myself from the skin tight spandex tights and believe me it is not a pretty sight!

    Eileen Reply:

    haha…I think there has been a spandex party happening so you’re not alone Nick. 🙂

  13. June 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt, nice to hear some common sense for a change. There is so much conflicting advice out there.

    I have recently read two other posts about Panda/Penguin, one said to interlink your pages, the other said to remove any interlinked pages. What’s a mere mortal to do?


  14. June 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    As always this is great content, i believe that google is making it more and more difficult to be lazy and not provide useful, well thought out content.
    The days of the 5 minute site making you millions are pretty much done with. Looks like we will have to get back to that little 4 letter word called work.
    Once again thanks for your great blog.

  15. June 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Can you just elaborate on “don’t just target one keyword per piece of content” ?

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hi Latha

    Sure thing, all I mean is try and rank a page for more than just one keyword.

    Eg. If you want to rank for “dog training” then also backlink your page for “bog training books” “dog training advice”


  16. Kerry's Gravatar Kerry
    June 22, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    To a buyer, getting directly to the Buy Cannon GX1 checkout has to be the ultimate experience, surely!
    But Google are now forcing time-poor buyers to study the endless version of the encyclopedia of Canon Cameras before they are allowed to, if they get lucky at page 64, check out. BAD experience for the person who knows what they want.
    So time-poor, focused buyers are going to become frustrated and annoyed at being led all over the intellectual landscape in the hopes of finding a buy button.
    It’s horses for courses and I think Google have chosen to back the long-winded, waste your precious time here and click our Adwords ads route. May make cents, but it doesn’t make sense in the long term.
    Google are just hogging their platform for themselves where making a $ happens and booting anyone else who earns a dollar there, even if they are not even remotely in competition.

    Eileen Reply:

    Very good points Kerry. I agree. I have searched recently on Google only to find sites coming up in the search results that are totally unrelated.

  17. Any K's Gravatar Any K
    June 22, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Hello Matt,

    Good Morning

    I have been following you for years. I believe you are the only one who always come up first if there is anything new in IM world with the story behind the happening and above all most updated.

    You are open and straightforward on the issues.
    Your blog is very helpful to me.

    Thanks Mark.

  18. June 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Great advice Matt.
    Keyword stuffing, over optimizing your blog post can actually make more damage than benefit these days, so ranking high for a targeted keyword or phrase you’ll have to mix it up a bit, add variants of that keyword, include relevant keywords not necessarily repeat the same KW all over as we all once used to.

  19. Sam's Gravatar Sam
    June 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I have chosen my keywords from the old method of high search volume, low competition and reasonable cpc as my sites only way of revenue is adsense at this stage. the only thing I see I need to be careful of is how I promote these words. In other words I am careful to use a big variety of anchors including “click here” etc… Otherwise I see no other big changes necessary. I use the main kw approx 15-25% of the time, 50% using 4-5 LSI words and the rest can be anything at all… and spread them all over the place but usually the target kws end up on the most niche relevant and higher pr sites. Seems to be working so far. Of course my actual site is not kw stuffed and looks natural as…although the old principles of target kws are still in the right places. plus I don’t even use meta kws or tags at all.

  20. June 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    I always enjoy reading your work. It would have been good to get a couple more examples of the way we should be doing things now. Additionally, I was taught to only use one KW per article. Are you saying that we should not be doing this anymore?

    I am struggling with the new changes and knowing what KWs to use.

    Thanks, Eileen.

  21. June 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    Once again, i learned so much from your post.

    I have been one of your avid followers – from Rapid Profit Formula to SEO Experts Academy to Video Commission… I keep on learning from you and when you say something, i know that i do not have to verify it because i am confident that the information is correct. I really appreciate your help.

    More power to you.


  22. Guy's Gravatar Guy
    June 22, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Matt,

    Really informative post. Really good advice.

    I began to think the same way about email marketing and building a relationship with potentials customers. I was afraid of that before, but I’m now walking toward that path.

  23. June 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Matt for the reminder.

    All we need to do is get tuned into the visitor’s mindset and we can then properly educate, help, and even sell to them with ease. This takes research and development right down to the psychological level that’s why it’s one of the most important parts of making money online or even off-line.

    Thanks again.


  24. June 22, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    As always Matt thanks for the advice.

    From my point of view I am finding it more necessary to find other methods to drive traffic to sites, as well as SEO.

    The reason being, and I am sure that others will agree, it now seems to be a moving target, what with constant google updates.

    So with my complementary therapy site, I mix it up with SEO and other methods.


    EFT Adv Practitioner/Trainer

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hi Peter

    I think its only a moving target if you don’t build sites for the user experience, if you do you shouldn’t notice Google updates much.

  25. June 22, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt, Great post you are totally right, Trying to make a quick buck is a dream for every one, Googles getting smarter,
    The best way to build the site these days is the natural way. not over crowding keywords & getting greedy with anchor text.
    I must admit there’s so much to learn…

  26. CJ's Gravatar CJ
    June 23, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink


    I totally agree with you on keywords such as “buy XYZ product”. However, targeting keywords such as “XYZ product review”, and then providing a good review, seems to be giving the user exactly what they are looking for. How could Google penalize you for that? Let me know your opinion on this.
    I have been a long-time reader and fan.
    Thanks for all you do!

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Yeah sure that could still be fine but I don’t think an entire website full of these is great

  27. dave hardy's Gravatar dave hardy
    June 23, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    interesting but how does it work with the idea of creating a page for just 1 key word or keyword phrase

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hi Dave

    well as I mentioned in this post its not a good idea to target just one keyword per post.

  28. June 23, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    What is the good of Keywords if a person cannot blog if his life depended on it. I truly think that making money online will fall into the pre-historic category as Google will have so many road blocks in the way of accomplishing such a task.


  29. Mike Cohen's Gravatar Mike Cohen
    June 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I Agree Matt!! Thanks for the info!!

  30. June 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Hello Matt,
    thanks for your advice, picking the right keywords seems to be the most tricky part of all (but maybe just for me).
    I run a couple of blogs and after I “really” understood how to use the KW in the posts they perform much better, and all the KW sum up.

  31. June 23, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Hey Matt,

    This is another great post!
    It’s a shame that Google is changing algorithms very quickly. However, it should not be a problem for those who provide quality content.


  32. Danny's Gravatar Danny
    June 23, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    It would be great if you could show/describe how to actually do the keyword research. I am too confused.

    I ranked for a keyword in my niche that is very competitive with exactly 500,000 searches/month (according to free google keyword research tool). After several months and SEO work I ranked 3rd. I literally had 1 or 2 people visit my site per day. Thats it!

    It just does not make sense…HELP! 🙂

  33. Leo's Gravatar Leo
    June 24, 2012 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    There are a lot of so-called gurus out there who do nothing but push products.

    Hands down, your advice is clear and concise and free of any fluff. The IM world needs more people like you.
    Thank you for your advice.

    To change the topic, here’s something that’s been bugging me for some time and I haven’t been able to find a good answer to this question.

    So here it goes.

    Is there a way to find out how much traffic a particular ‘web page’ receives?

    I know there are some sites that show how much traffic a particular website receives. But, that doesn’t help me.

    I would greatly appreciate it if you could address my question.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Pretty sure Google Analytics does this.

    Thanks for your kind words also.


    Leo Reply:


    Thank you for replying. What I forgot to mention is that I’m looking to see how much traffic my competition is getting on a particular page.
    Are you aware of any tools that can do this?

    Matt Carter Reply:

    No not sure about that


  34. June 24, 2012 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    M. I’ve come to the conclusion that google sucks but they’re practically the only game in town. good times! jw

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Yeah they can suck, but they have made me a lot of money so I can’t bag them out too much. Although times are harder in SEO now, its a golden opportunity as lots of people will give up, which is what Google wants, so if you stick with it and do what Google wants you’ll do well.

  35. Ken's Gravatar Ken
    June 24, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt, good keyword selection that is relevant to the topic is crucial, but something new marketers, and experienced marketers alike sometimes forget. If you use wrong keywords simply for the purpose of getting high ranking, eventually you will get the Google slap. So, use good variety of keywords for your article, and have some of the keyword links go to other related articles and not just the sales landing page. This will likely improve user experience and reward you with higher ranking in the SERPS. Ken

  36. June 24, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    Good post here. It is important to change the tactics from time to time. I definitely agree that a site stuffed with buyers keywords is not going to work any longer. That simply means gathering more information and content for your website, and also giving some thought to how to go about with the back-linking.

  37. DC's Gravatar DC
    June 24, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    BTW you are on Page 1 of Google at pos no. 9 for the phrase,
    skin tight pink spandex.
    Congrats, I would be interested to know how you did this. 🙂
    Is there another course there?

  38. Paul Warner's Gravatar Paul Warner
    June 25, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I am always amazed when I come to your blog to read an article like this, the amount of response you get in your comments and deservedly so, as you are one of the few who really give of themselves to their subscribers.
    As for the article I think it is an excellent article although I do wish you could give examples so we have an idea what the right way of doing things looks like. I read an article from Lisa Parmley who suggested the same thing in building sites as to keyword density and that you should rank for more than one keyword, but as I said, it would help if we had an example of what properly doing this is about. Still reminding us of changes taking place and what to do about it puts you notches above other marketers, such as yourself, who do not treat their subscribers nearly as good as you do. Thank you as always, Paul

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hi Paul

    I teach my members in IM Super Elite more detail that I can do on this blog for free.


  39. June 26, 2012 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt,
    Your articles are always very useful. Thanks.
    In fact I only follow your’s, Mark Ling and Sam Frost articles. You all rock!!!!

  40. June 26, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    This is a very thoughtful post. I see what you mean about keyword stuffing. What are your thoughts about backlinks? How many of these can be a single keyword?

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Backlinks also need to look natural, so mix it up

  41. June 28, 2012 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Very helpful article, Matt. It’s nice to hear these things from time to time as it’s easy to fall into a rut with keyword research and implementation.

    Common sense advice that I will be taking advantage of.

  42. cip's Gravatar cip
    June 28, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    hey matt what i learn in this days with all the updates seams like .. google look a lot on artificial back links not the keywords that you try to rank for … you have to mix them a lot..and i think even if you have only 3 keywords targeted but you will wise white hat techniques you will see that your site will still rank.. and if you will get your visitors engaged on the site …i got one site that have a low bounce rate

  43. June 29, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Keyword selection is SUPER important not only for organic traffic but for Google paid traffic. If you have unrelated keywords it can lower your quality score for your Adwords account and put the price up per advertisement costing you more money. Also if your using adwords you need to make sure every keyword is related to your goals for conversions. If you want longtail keywords for your site you should use some software to speed up the process.

  44. July 1, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink


    I believed is more difficult than ever to do seo or simple find right keywords for any website… What is next move after all that panda and pinguin google update?


    Red King Reply:

    its only more difficult for those using spammy seo methods

  45. July 2, 2012 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    The business model has changed dramatically over the year and building larger authority sites that are good for the user is the only way to get organic traffic anymore with getting any penalties from Google.

    It takes longer and is more work but the long term benefits are worth it in the long run.

    Thanks for sharing you experience with us once again.


  46. July 2, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Hey Matt,

    Very good Tips about Keywords


  47. July 4, 2012 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    On a site that had great traffic for high ranking competitive keywords there was a drastic hit in traffic, about 50%. Now it is climbing again without any real effort and the keywords I see traffic coming in from are the kinds of keywords that you are talking about in this article. Right on.

  48. Leo's Gravatar Leo
    July 4, 2012 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Hey Matt,

    This question belongs on your post about dropshipping but since I couldn’t ask my question there hopefully you don’t mind my asking here.

    Your article on dropshipping was phenomenal. I recommend that everyone interested in ecommerce read it asap. It helped push me over the fence and I’m going to give it a try.

    I’m signing up with a dropshipping company which will provide me with an ecommerce website ( and will track sales linked to my activity.

    What I don’t want to do is SEO a website that I have no control over.
    My thoughts were to register a domain and redirect traffic to the site they’re giving me.

    Do you recommend that I SEO multiple pages for various keywords and redirect traffic to that site in light of Penguin/Panda updates?
    My thinking is that if I part ways with this company my efforts don’t go to waste and I still have an optimized site.

  49. SEO's Gravatar SEO
    July 6, 2012 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    I have to say that while many courses came out with the whole “optimize for buyer keywords mayhem!” I feel that you are suggestting people dont target these anymore.

    i have to disagree, the point i think is spot on is ‘over optimization’ if you have all your titles on a page as well as the URL with ‘buy XYZ camera’ then it gives of clear signal that your only intention is to get that traffic and make money from it. As google has the end user in mind, it would be much smarter to go after keywords on the >downlow< and not just blatantly sticking your nose in the air for google to scratch 😉 I think LSI and long tails are the way to go, but using these as your anchors when backlinking. Instead of 80% of your backlink as 1 main keywords it only needs to be about 20-30% and then the rest is mixed up.

    The nice thing about these google updates is that they are forcing you to target MORE keywords! (so we really shouldn't complain should we? they want us getting more traffic, just being cleaner about it 😉 )!!

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