Skip to content

Forget the obvious keywords

I was looking at some old articles on this blog recently, and it struck me how much search engine optimisation has changed over the years, although in a very gradual way. Many people who are responsible for it as just a tiny part of their job could be forgiven for missing the many small steps that have transformed it.

The main change has been that pages now need to be targeted at ‘search intent’ rather than ‘keywords’. This means focusing on why someone is searching. No longer is it sensible to build a web page which targets the term ‘blue widgets’; now we need to discern why searchers might be investigating the term, and target those intentions.

A few years ago, I remember writing that I didn’t understand why people typed questions into Google, as it was an index, not an subject-specific expert. But it has learned to match their questions with the web’s answers …and that’s why it makes sense to think of our pages as being the answers to questions.

A guy I’ve followed for nearly 20 years, Eric Enge, puts it really well in this three-minute video. Give it a watch. He says: “To be comprehensive in your depth and breadth of content will require far more content than just writing for the high volume keywords.”