The Psychology of Search Intent in Driving Smart SEO
“Google is getting too smart! It doesn’t just understand what we’re saying, but is figuring out what we mean…”_Juli Durante
Two decades ago, a company dreamed of revolutionizing search on the internet. By launching a single search engine, the world of search was just on schedule for disruption.
True to it, 20 years down that lane, Alphabet Inc., the company behind the genius search engine, Google, takes credit for the present pressure the modern and traditional publisher faces.
If you are reading this article, it is likely you are aware of the stats that go with search engines at present.
Why Publishers Need to Pay Attention to Google
According to Net Market Share, Google nets a global market share of 74.54%. Now, while others like Yahoo, Bing, and Baidu, etc., average 5-10% market share, clearly we cannot ignore the numbers with Google.
You know this is big because while search engine marketing is not just divided solely on Google, companies are spending heavily on Google ad placements than the other search engines.
Now the same applies to organic search optimisation. So why is this important?
Simple – Google algorithm changes or updates will always set the publishers on their toes and verily so for the search engine marketing brands seeking to be relevant.
Their latest gravitation to search intent is one such change that is causing air waves in the marketing and publishing industry.
This article casts a glance on the new talk of search intentions as compared to keyword placement.
Earlier in the years after the launch of Google, keyword placement was a big topic. The algorithm favored publishers that were keen to stuff keywords at any one crack they could squeeze those in.
But the narrative has been changing over time. Keyword density conversations began emerging. Soon after, there was more emphasis on how natural the keywords could read on marketing copy.
Fast forward to 2018, the ball game has changed.
The New Way of Search
The search engine that once heavily relied on backlinks and text data to prioritize ranking has become sophisticated in many ways.
Users can now refine their searches on not just text-generated content but images, videos, geographic locations, equations and much more.
Now, whether publishers like it or not, all these are heavily contributing to search ranking.
But of even greater marketing importance, is the fact that Google has moved further from just refined search results based on type to user intent.
I must admit that this form of intelligence is super impressive.
Defining Search Intent
Beyond smartly matching keywords and intuitive distribution, Google has leveraged on its massive data storage to more finely understand phrases, search history, as well as other factors in search query.
This is boosting how they prioritize what the user might find favorable for their search. More time is going into trying to parse the mind of the user and dig in for their intentions before they hit the search button.
That defines search intent in a nutshell. Simply put – “what is in the mind of the user as they type in a search query?”
There is definitely not much a pile of info on user experience segmentation and how Google understands user priorities, but there is sure enough of it to help marketers and publishers.
For purposes of this post, I’d like to make a case to those still caught up in intense keyword placement and missing out on game changing market updates.
Google is definitely paying close attention to small keyword changes. You cannot risk trampling over that, yet still, it is time to consider adapting.
Publishers and marketers need to start understanding the different forms that customer search intent will take.
While Google is working to refine search, it means content creators need to spend even more time refining how they get their content out and how their audience fits into all this.It is not so much what Google thinks about your creation process, but how your audience will be thinking as they key in queries on Google. Click To Tweet
I bet this will also be Google’s focus. Now if that’s the case, then clearly goals align, and the chance to win priority from Google’s ranking algorithm is on the high.
Definitely, this complicates the work of the publisher and marketer. The search engines are getting fluid by collecting and reacting to different data.
Yet still, this presents a myriad of opportunities for brands to think creatively. Not only so, but also actively engage their creative studios to simulate with the user in mind.
With this reality, the winners of this conversation will be those who align user-relevant data and parse it like search engines.
The end being to build vibrant and richer experiences that will create and sustain a healthy brand-to-customer relationship.
Search intent is the new search engine intelligence that is not to be ignored.
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