Before the Google Penguin update, it used to be relatively easy to get an article ranked for long tail keyword phrases if you knew about some of the basics of search engine optimisation (SEO).
After Penguin, Google has lost its focus on the specific keyword and has moved more towards latent semantic indexing.
In some ways this is good.
It stops the deliberate low value spammers taking over the top of the search results.
It allows people to write more naturally. There can be little dispute that some words are closely linked with others but others may be linked artificially.
To some people customers and clients mean the same thing. Others would never refer to privileged clients as common customers.
But by defining a collection of words as relevant to a topic, does it mean that Google is now penalising an originality that goes against conventional wisdom?
It seems to me that it is.
If Google says that to write about topic A as an expert would, you have to mention topics B, C, D and E then all the articles at the top of the rankings will have all five.
But what if there is a new contrarian view.
That accepts that A and B are linked but it rejects the idea that C, D and E are relevant.
Instead it links F, G and H.
Now that the focus of writing around one keyword phrase (A) and building it into the article at key points has lost its impact, the article stands little chance to be found.
This doesn't seem right to me.
Yes social media can spread the word but the article still needs to be launched into the social media hemisphere.
That's fine if someone has a large collection of followers and friends who are eager to tweet and like content.
Most people are much too apathetic.
In fact the very idea of penalising rather than boosting original content goes against what Google was trying to do with the Google Panda algorithm change that went before Penguin.
Google should love something of high quality and original.
However if it is looking for common theme words in the right frequency - not too often because that's keyword spamming and now penalised; and not too infrequently because that doesn't meet the relevancy requirements - then articles, by definition, have to be different jumbles of the same words and ideas.
What do you think?