Why We Can’t Look At SEO Keyword Research The Same Way

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seo keyword research

SEO has changed a little but we’re still doing the same things! When Google acquired DeepMind sometime in 2014 for more than 500 million dollars, plenty of SEO experts, bloggers and website owners failed to take notice. And for those of us that did, we kind of forgot about it and kept on doing the same old things we did.

Today if you ask almost anybody who understands SEO, what you need to do for your website to rank on the SERPs (search engine results pages), they’ll often start with “keyword research”. But evidence suggests that maybe it’s about time SEO had a major shift in this strategy.

But first, why is DeepMind such an important acquisition?

For one thing, there’s been a silent battle (or maybe not so much anymore) going on for AI supremacy. Companies like Facebook, IBM Watson and Amazon, have invested heavily in AI.

Then there’s Google’s DeepMind (renamed after acquisition by the search giant), which is making major waves with AI. According to ColdFusion TV, the company was the first to create a general purpose AI. In fact, their AlphaGo program was able to outsmart the best human players (or brains) in the ancient Chinese board game called Go.

It accomplished this because it’s able to learn from failure and rewrite itself for success. Naturally, this sparked concerns about AI. Prominent names like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have voiced their reservations about the applications of fully automated AI with no human input.

Is AI a Threat to Civilization as We Know It?

These experts have a point! AI has no emotional or real creative ability but more importantly, the lack of emotion is what makes autonomous artificial intelligence dangerous. Hence, leaving the possibility that in our quest to harness this power, we may achieve something that’s irreversible and undesirable. Why?

That’s because this technology can learn on its own and reinvent itself, which introduces risks that the world may not be prepared to handle. Listen to this:

Elon raises a lot of concerns here because technically, there isn’t anything preventing an autonomous intelligence from figuring out crafty and damaging ways to accomplish its main purpose. Plus it has no emotion whatsoever, which means it can do all that is necessary, indiscriminately.

Oh and this happened:

All right, so how does AI change SEO?

I feel that humans are no longer writing algorithms for Google but I’m not on the inside, just a hunch. So perhaps, some search-dedicated programs are still written by staff (but doubtful). If I’m correct, then we can’t treat SEO the same way anymore. So here’s my suggestion for SEO moving forward.

Stop Caring About Keywords So Damn Much!

I’m not suggesting that keyword research isn’t important but we can’t consistently chase after the same keywords, hoping to outrank the other person. It just doesn’t work that way anymore.

Sometime in 2015, Google confirmed that it was using machine-learning algorithms to sort search results. This meant that the algorithm would be able to learn on its own and improve itself as we’ve seen in the video above. So how do you beat an AI that can rewrite itself hundreds of times over and become better?

Well, you can’t! So instead of continuously chasing after keywords for rankings, use them to create relevance. Why?

In a nutshell, you need to convince the AI that you are good for people that are searching for what you do. And part of that is having a strong library of relevant publications within your site. So SEO is no longer just about technical aspects or solely focusing on all 200+ search-ranking factors, which I suspect is much more.

Instead, we need to use keyword research to create the amount of content that we need to build authority, and then focus strictly on publicity. This means that your content moving forward doesn’t have to be based on keyword research, providing that content gaps are addressed.

Here’s an example:

A new website may start by finding all the relevant keywords related to their niche. Then create content around those keywords (and it doesn’t have to be one topic per page anymore). Once all content gaps are covered, the company can start freely publishing content based on their own creativity and audience needs. But not by keyword research.

Think of it this way: Since we know that 15 percent of all Google searches are new (never been searched before), then if the keyword is listed on your research tool, you’re going after the same target as thousands or millions of other people.

That’s just fighting over the same plate of food, right? Instead, you should get creative and create things that are useful to your audience. This is how you cut through the noise. And as an added bonus, you may score some great backlinks for it.

Note that once you’ve created content based on brainstorming and gathering ideas from platforms like social media, you’ll need to pick a keyword for your publication. This is when you should go to Google or Bing and search for what you just wrote about. Then find the ‘related keywords’ section and start looking through for a match that you can use for your content (regardless of volume size).

Lastly, optimize your content for SEO and publish. Also, remember that you’ll naturally rank for phrases that you aren’t even targeting but the search engine algorithms find relevant to your web page. Got it?

All right, here’s my really simple SEO keyword research model that you can follow.

new SEO keyword research model

Furthermore, in the future, AI technology may render SEO testing useless as it evolves (if not already). Therefore, we would have to rely on patterns through link analysis, other external and on-page factors to decide our best moves.

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Would love to have a discussion on this, so let me know what’s on your mind in the comments.

Simple Keyword Research Model For #SEOClick To Tweet

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Last Updated on June 25, 2019