Good morning, Marketers,
Google’s expanding use of natural language understanding algorithms — BERT, passages indexing and misspellings being key ones — represents a significant evolution in how it determines what content gets surfaced in the search results. The aim, of course, is to give users more relevant search results. The upside for SEOs and content writers, though, will be that we can pay greater attention to the people we want to reach rather than on how Googlebot will evaluate the content on our pages.
“If anything, these updates move us toward a world where we can focus more on users and not worry as much about bots, from a content and ranking perspective,” says Dr. Pete Meyers, marketing scientist at Moz.
The flexibility to move away from organizing content for search engines should afford SEOs more freedom to instead create content that matches the searcher’s intent, in the form that makes the most sense for the subject matter and the audience, whether that is long-form or laser-focused, writes George Nguyen.
“I wouldn’t abandon [keyword research], but adapt it to intent research,” says Hamlet Batista, CEO of RankSense. Increasingly, the words you use on your page will not have to match what users type into the search bar for Google to understand you and the searchers “on the same page.”
And, if you want to learn more about how users are experiencing your site once they get there, Microsoft’s free solution for visualizing UX is now out of beta. Microsoft Clarity offers heatmaps, session replays and more.