What is Prevalence, Proximity and Prominence?


W e are all marketers. No matter what industry or profession we are in, each of us must market ourselves and our businesses. Marketing on the Internet includes developing an effective website. Each page of your website should focus on a singular topic. And because search engines are the primary way that people find websites, we must understand how to market our web pages to the search engines.

Search engines are machines, and machines need to be told how to perform a given task. In this case, the machine happens to be a computer, and the computer is trying to figure out how to make sense of the billions of pages of information that exist on the indexed portion of the World Wide Web. The name given to the set of instructions that a computer follows is algorithm. Each of the major search engines uses its own algorithm in trying to catalog the websites that it finds. One of the ways that search engines understand the meaning of web pages is called “Prevalence, Proximity and Prominence”.

Prevalence, Proximity and Prominence defined.

Prevalence, Proximity and Prominence are measures that a computer can take to determine the relevance of a particular web page to a given topic.

Here is how the components of Prevalence, Proximity and Prominence break down:

  • Prevalence refers to whether or not the web page contains the subject matter text that you want to be found for.
    For example, if you sell red tricycles online and want to create a website that people interested in buying red tricycles will find, you need to make sure that your website talks about purchasing red tricycles online.
  • Proximity refers to the words immediately before and after the subject matter text.
    For example, don’t just talk about red tricycles; talk about buying them online. This will allow the search engines to distinguish your website from a website on, say, “the history of tricycles in America”.
  • Prominence refers to where on the page your subject matter text appears.
    For example, make sure your subject matter text appears in the page title, the page headline, and within the first sentence or two of the page. If your subject matter text doesn’t appear until late in the page, you won’t communicate that you are an authority on that subject.

Finally, it is imperative to achieve a balance between search engine optimized writing and natural language. Contact me if you need help writing content that gets found online.

Andrew Lehrfeld

Andrew Lehrfeld

Managing Member at Internet Presence LLC
Andrew (Andy) Lehrfeld is a classically-trained Direct Marketer. His background in Communications, Marketing, Sales, Applied Writing, and Public Speaking helps organizations nurture strong relationships with their clients and others. He has 40 years' experience working with business owners worldwide. He is the founder of Internet Presence LLC, a digital marketing agency that builds websites, social media, and other online platforms that help companies engage with customers and prospects.
Andrew Lehrfeld

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