Keywords vs. Context: How do you search?

In the world of SEO, something that worked yesterday, may not work next week. While constantly wondering how to keep your content fresh, optimize your website for that Google search bar and, well, bump up your website as much as you can, keywords are being replaced by topic-based content strategies.

Search engines exist to solve your problems, and they're getting much better at predicting what you want.

Keyword search

The model we use the most; Open Google, type in keywords, get the results.

We have to keep in mind that Google is trying to understand us and know our intent. To be able to achieve that, and give us what we initially searched for, Google's going to, once again, be "the smart guy".

"The smart guy" is not only going to pay attention to the words you typed in the search bar (read: keywords), but also take into consideration the implicit content of your search. Remember that location you "kind of" tend to leave "on" draining your battery? Yep, a pretty big deal. Also, along with this, your previous searches, language, and a bunch of other things.

For example, let's say you type in "restaurants near me" in the search bar, while your location is off. Google gives you results based on your previous searches, history, other people's ratings of restaurants in your town (keep in mind that Google ranks pages based on how long someone spends on that page and the percentage of clicks on that page).

google near me off



Google search results when location is off.

Next, search for the same thing with your location on. You'll see that you get different results based on your location.

google near me on

Google search when location is on.

Using this, Google finds the easier way to find out what you're really looking for.

Basically, search results are dependent on those things - the keywords you type in + the implicit things you give to Google without knowing.

Context search

The context search includes not only your mobile search, but personalized search as well. Google ranks search results and determines in which order it'll place the results. It uses a machine learning system called RankBrain, that helps it do so.

For example, Google Now search is fully content-based; Reactions - people love it. Google Now applies your context searches to real life and you get the best results.

The best way to look at it is looking at Google as a tool for solving your problems. In order to have that done, you've got to help him out, as well. Meaning, if you want to get the best results, you also have to pay attention to the things you type in.

Remembering a couple of cool tricks might come in handy… For example, using quotation marks, minus, plus, etc.

So?

Keeping all this in mind, we have to realize that keywords are probably going to be gone in the near future. Keywords can't give us the big picture. We have to look at queries and all the aspects Google takes into consideration. Not only the data, but metadata, too.