Digital Marketing

Google's John Mueller on intent analysis vs. Key phrase analysis for 2020

Frédéric Dubut from Bing told us that in 2020 SEOs should focus on intent research instead of keyword research. A short video he made for us at SMX East in November.

Keyword research is not lost? I asked Google expert John Mueller, who works as an analyst for webmaster trends, about his thoughts on the subject. In short, he seems to agree that search engines will better understand intentions and will rely less on keywords. But Mueller didn't go so far as to say that keyword research practices will or should soon stop.

The question. In a video hangout at 51:52 I asked: “Basically, Frédéric von Bing made a short video in which he said that keyword research practices are a kind of turning away and through targeted research practices should be replaced. So it's not about keywords, but about intentions. Do you have any thoughts on this? "

The answer. "I didn't see that, but I generally think there will probably always be some room for keyword research because you make those words available to users." And even if search engines try to understand more than just these words, displaying certain words can make it a little easier for users to understand the content of your pages and sometimes trigger a small part of this conversion process.

I don't see these things going away completely, but I'm sure that over time, search engines will get better at understanding more than just the words on a page. "

The video: Here is the video embedded, fast forward to 51 minutes and 52 seconds to jump to this part:

Frederic's video. Here is the video of Frédéric Dubut von Bing at SMX:

Why do we care? SEOs have done keyword research in the past since we first worked on improving customer rankings when searching. It was the way SEOs do their job, and when it gets out the window, SEOs have to adapt to understanding the intentions of users or searchers. It's not a big leap, it's a different kind of research. The big question is how much keyword research should be done in relation to intent research. The tide seems to change in 2020, so be prepared.

About the Author

Barry Schwartz is the Search Engine Land news editor and owner of RustyBrick, a New York-based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on SEM topics.