Google: As Search Engines Get Better At Intent, Keyword Research Won’t Go Away

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Earlier this week, Frédéric Dubut, the PM of overall Bing’s core search team, said that 2020 will be the year where keyword research becomes obsolete, you can read exactly what he said there. Well, I asked John Mueller from Google if he feels the same and he said basically no.

He said even as search engines become better and better at understanding searcher intent, there “always gonna be a little bit of room for keyword research.” But he did seem to agree that keyword research, for search, might become less and less important.

Barry asked: Frederick from Bing basically made a short video saying keyword research practices are kind of going away and should be replaced by intent research practices. So it’s not thinking about keywords, thinking about intent. Do you have any thoughts about that?

John responded: I didn’t see that but I I think, in general, that there’s probably always gonna be a little bit of room for keyword research because you’re kind of you’re providing those words to users. And even if search engines are trying to understand more than just those words. Showing specific words to users can make it a little bit easier for them to understand what your pages are about and can sometimes drive a little bit of that conversion process. So I don’t see these things going away completely but I’m sure search engines will get better over time to understand more than just the words on a page.

Hi everyone. This is Frédéric Dubut from Bing, here to talk about some of the cool stuff we are looking forward to in 2020.

If you look at 2018, 2019 there’s lots of evolution in the field, of deep learning, natural language processing. Google announced recently they integrated their BERT language model in search results. And what that means for everyone is search engines are shifting from keywords to intent at an accelerating pace.

So if you imagine a few years ago, we were mostly based on keywords, then we are a QR based search engine with a little bit of intent sprinkled on. And what we’re looking forward to in 2020 is that search engines are going to be primarily intent-based, so we’ll understand the core intent better. We’ll understand what the documents mean better, and we’ll be able to do better matches.

For you in the SEO community. what that means, is that some of the current practices around keyword research are probably going to become slowly obsolete and you’ll need to switch to intent research as a practice. So this is super important.

2020 is the year where search engines are shifting to intent primarily.

Forum discussion at YouTube Community.

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