SEO in Times of ‘Not Provided’

Google’s recent announcement that it will no longer provide all keyword data has once again forced SEOs to go back to their drawing boards and re-think their strategies and tactics. However, this does not mean that SEO is dead. It is very much alive!

The fact of the matter is so long as there is the internet, SEO will thrive. Internet marketing is here to stay as long as search engines drive traffic to websites. The key for marketers is to figure out how to get the best audience that will convert and drive sales.

Is keyword a thing of the past?

No, not really. Although earlier SEOs made sure that they targeted one keyword per page with great content, built some fantastic links, later on tracked traffic and fine tuned as needed. This approach is no longer productive. With the new search algorithm users now get several different SERPs from one query. Herein lies an opportunity as searchers are generally using suggested queries than typing their query.

In today’s scenario what counts as much as keywords is author rank, knowledge graph, and personalization. These three elements are the key to drive traffic. Content created by trusted source will gain an upper hand even if specific keywords are not targeted.

Page authority

SEOs will have to shift focus from getting traffic to pages from keywords to getting traffic to pages. The whole page counts. This essentially means that relevant and informative content on the page gets top ranking. This is how they judge authority.

Brand power

From now on SEOs will have to focus on building brands and not just look at traffic from targeted keywords. Those sites that are successful in building topical authority and increasing brand equity will be the ones that take home the moolah.

Not only brand building but experience also counts

Even if you have built a big brand, but your site does not give a pleasant experience to the users it is unlikely to rank higher. Make your site a pleasant place to be if you want higher rank. This is where your technical expertise in SEO can come in handy. Put in a killer development team to make sure your users get that pleasant experience.

So, what about keywords?

Relax! Search engines are going to remain search engines. They will still give some credence to the presence of keywords in the content on the pages, however, it will not be the driving factor. Focus on attracting traffic from social sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Slideshare, etc.

Take the new changes at Google in your stride, so that when there is the next big change you won’t be left tearing your hair apart!

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