Beginner Bloggers: Keyword Research is a Total Waste of Time

Spend your free time just writing and stop being concerned with ANYTHING search engine related. It’s hurting your SEO. Here’s why.

If you are searching around and trying to become a great and profitable blogger, that’s great.

I get it.

I will argue very strongly, however, that most of the technical advice out there from the big SEO sites will not really help you that much.

As Google updates their algorithms, it might even hurt you.

Keyword research and the traps that await the beginning blogger

Common blogging for profit practice is to seek out keywords that have “x” number of searches and then to go look at the search results for those keywords and see if it might be worth it to compete for those phrases.

With that you can kind of figure out how much money the page will make in each of the first few slots.

This makes sense, but there are giant traps with this system that await the beginning blogger.

One is that Google is always being updated (by VERY smart programmers) to produce search results that are NOT made for the search engine results, but instead that are freely written by the author to provide a great experience for the searcher. Also, once you finally do rank for a researched keyword, all it takes is for a big site with lots of established links to come in and write about that keyword and they will quickly eclipse your work.

Finally, all of this time spend doing the research totally takes time away from your writing.

Keyword research and Google updates

Most quickly built “traffic for profit” websites are written just one or two steps ahead of Google’s programmers. The problem is that Google will update but your site will not.

It will get left behind.

Nearly every SEO tactic that seemed viable in the past has been snubbed down, one or two at a time. Link strategies, link wheels, site structure, content farms, keyword stuffing, etc. has all been made obsolete. I have news for you – so will keyword research.


Because Google’s ultimate goal has always been NOT to produce traffic for the websites that are designed to make money by gaming the search engine, but instead for those that provide the best user experience.

Anything that you do now, outside of just good old-fashioned writing, will almost certainly not hold up to the test of time. Google will always be able to figure out (and will not stop trying to figure out) which content is made “naturally” and which is “optimized” for the search engine. Go with the former.

Keyword researched articles often have a clunky or awkward feel to them. It’s like that fake butter on the popcorn at the movie theater. It says “butter” but you can tell right away it taste like a bunch of chemicals and trans-fatty oils.

Someone else will be coming for “your” keyword

seo is a waste of timeFind a highly searched long-tail with no competition? Great job. Will someone else find it soon and squash you?

Yep. They certainly will. It’s just a matter of time.

Unless you are a seasoned SEO master with oodles of websites all with great inbound links and page rank, your great keyword treasure hunt will provide ZERO benefit in the long run.

All it takes is for one of these sharks to home in on your idea and you will be pushed downward in position for that search.

For example, I’m a tax practitioner in my day job, and I spent a lot of time and effort writing about a specific tax credit that is available in my home state of Hawaii. My goal was to “rank” for that keyword phrase.

I have a high volume firm and a large website presence and I was TOTALLY the authority on this subject. That paged ranked number one for some time.

Then some customer of Turbo Tax came along asked an Intuit Support Employee if he or she could claim the credit. The support person cut and paste a few quick lines form the Hawaii State Tax Department’s instructions and they jumped ahead of me just like that, pushing my 2000-word master piece guide down to number 2. Just like that!

Sorry to repeat myself, but instead of picking a keyword or phrase, just write as best as you can and let the results come in naturally.

Keyword research is killing your writing time

In the time it used to take me to research what keywords to write about – and then figure out a way to optimize by titles and headers to integrate it into what I REALLY want to write about – I could have just written a page of original content already.

You don’t need keyword optimization, you need a kick in the pants.

If you want to make lots of money blogging then “blog”. Trying to trick the principle of ANY system will not produce lasting profitable results for you – the universe doesn’t work that way.

See more of our guide to blogging for profits here.

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