Is Google Keyword Research Becoming Irrelevant?

  • Sumo

keyword analysisWhen I woke up this morning I had already decided on the topic to write about but something strange happened. I read a lot in order to come up with articles thus I’m forced do research by entering keywords in the google search box.

It then crossed my mind how Google has been going on and on about leveling the playing field as far as SEO is concerned. The research for my intended topic was diverted and I began researching on something else.

I wanted to see whether the results I got had websites that did not have any relation in terms of the keyword phrases I entered and if so, whether they were want I was searching for.

This was my finding, the search results were almost 90% related to what I was searching for and all the sites had used the same or relevant keywords within the content.

So, how is google going to rank sites that don’t care about SEO though they have great content?

This is the question that got my adrenaline running and thus the reason of writing this article. Many webmasters and web marketers are wondering whether keyword tools have become irrelevant and it’s only fair they know the truth.

The motivation to write about this is also because of the recent google algorithm updates that have been taking place. If there is an SEO expert that can explain to me like a layman how google is leveling the playing field by their new algorithm update I would be so happy.

For a long time now SEO experts have been using different tools to market on the internet. Publisher after publisher have been writing articles showing people how to do google keyword research in order to rank high on SERPs.

There are webmasters and bloggers whose sites are based on keyword phrases such as “keyword tools”, “Keyword research” and other related keywords. A look at the blogs about site optimization, thousands of articles have been posted teaching on how to optimize using keywords.

That notwithstanding, there are hundreds of people and companies that have spent endless hours designing programs to help in keyword research. Some of the best keyword research tools include Word Tracker, Keyword Discovery, Keyword Winner, Market Samurai and many others.

Bloggers really love using wordpress to create blogs. This is because wordpress comes with amazing plugins that can really help you generate traffic.

One of the plugins that almost all wordpress bloggers use is All In One SEO and the other is Yoast WordPress SEO which I personally use. These are plugins that help bloggers conduct keyword research among other optimization practices and thus the reason why blogs do well on search engines especially google.

Google also has the Google Keyword External Tool to help site owners and web marketers know which keywords to optimize on within their content or to use in their Adwords campaigns.

google keyword research

Google’s bid to level the playing field has resulted in the release of major algorithm updates. The latest was Google Venice which is said to de-index sites that build backlinks unnaturally.

According to google, they want sites that have quality content but know nothing about SEO to have their fair share of organic search results. How is that going to work or improve search results?

The result of ranking sites without considering keyword usage will mean that a site can rank high but since there is no keyword optimization it can rank on any google keyword phrase. If you ask me, that will only led to total confusion.

Search engines are robots and for that reason they can never tell what your articles are all about. The only indicator they have to know what your content is about is by checking the words you have repeated.

The other parameter engine spiders use is checking the authority of your site. The more relevant and quality sites pointing back to your content the better you will rank on SERPs.

How is it possible that someone writing about a given topic and fails to mention specific keywords will rank same with another person who has optimized his content with relevant keywords?

If you ask me that is not possible!

But I have to give a thumps up to google for enabling their bots connect words that are related, stemming, plural and relevant. This will go a long way in ensuring that bloggers and webmasters optimize their content without making it obvious that there are phrases they keep on mentioning.

Going round in circles

It may appear like my arguments are unfounded or maybe my understanding of leveling the playing field is misplaced. What google is trying to do is keep webmasters and bloggers on their toes.

People have found many loop holes in the Google ranking formula thus the reason for google to scare them off a bit.

Do not get me wrong, search results have really improved especially from December last year when Panda Update was first released. After that they have been several panda versions that have been released and for sure they have helped reduce crappy content on search results.

What I find hard to comprehend is the death of keyword research all in the name of ranking sites that do not know anything about SEO. It would be understandable to find a way to deal with sites that over optimize using keywords.

No matter how many times google alters its algorithm formula, there is no way they are going to eliminate the use of keywords. Therefore, those of you who might be hoping to rank without using keywords you better rethink.

The recommended thing to do is to put more emphasis on generating quality content and being careful not to check on your keyword density.

Work on your keyword usage to ensure that you don’t over optimize but at the same time make certain search engine Crawlers know what your content is all about.

Now, to answer the question that we asked: Is Google Keyword Research Dead?



Keywords tools and keyword optimization strategies are here to stay. Anyone that ignores or is naïve about anything pertaining to SEO is leaving a lot of money on the table.

Generating content without doing keyword research is like trying to hit a target while blind folded. Just as water is important in sustaining life, so is keyword research in search engine optimization.

Soon you will read of articles claiming that SEO is dead. For me I think SEO is here to stay, what I think will change are the strategies of doing SEO.

The two driving forces of google internet search are keywords and backlinks. While keywords help search engines know in which niche to rank you on, backlinks tell search engines the authority of your site.

If you were thinking of re-strategizing and stopping the use of keywords within your content, your competitors will be the ones smiling all the way to the bank.

The panic that is taking place in the online marketing arena tells me google has succeeded in scaring site owners. Every day, article after article are been released spelling doom to people who do SEO.

Now that you know better; rest easy and don’t allow Google to take you around in circles. The only way they are going to completely level the playing find is hire millions of people to read each and every article released on the web.

If you come across an article that talks about how to do google keyword research or the mistakes to avoid in keyword research don’t say that these articles are irrelevant. They are relevant now and they will be for a long time to come.

Summary: Researching for keywords in a bid to rank on Google or other search engines is absolutely imperative. There is no way of telling what your content is about unless you mention certain words related to your niche or topic.

Do you agree or disagree with me? Post your comments in the section provided below.

If you think this article will help arrest the fears of other bloggers go ahead and share, tweet, +1 or like this blog post.



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5 thoughts on “Is Google Keyword Research Becoming Irrelevant?”

  1. Great content combined with solid SEO, without turning back on either of them is one cannot go so far. Keyword search is a gift that keeps on giving. To add on to that, you have ‘witty’ titles (written to attract readers) that also make of sense in SEO. Keep on enriching your content with keyword phrases, preferably the long-tail keyterms. Google Keyword Tools is one of the obvious tool to use. So, I don’t believe Google algorithm will scrap keyword search coz this is data collected from really phrases used by searchers (people) when googling.

  2. Stephen,

    This was a great article, thank you for taking the time to write it. I have been thinking about the future keyword relevance myself a lot lately and I have a slightly different theory.

    If we take a look at Google’s evolution, beginning with the appearance of “secure search” and the blocking of keywords, there is a consistent pattern. I believe Google wants us to stop concerning ourselves with keywords and focus, instead, on providing quality content AND using micro-data. The micro-data is important as it helps Google populate the knowledge graph. More and more of our search results are being supplied directly from Google-owned data and less on optimized search results. This is nearly 100% the case for Google’s new Conversation Search and the Google Now app. The only way Google can be sure to get the most relevant sites to the top of the search engines is if it no longer has to rely on SEOs to optimize their sites.

    So, when Google says they want to level the playing field, I think this is what they mean. Google wants to begin owning more and more data and they are remarkably skilled at getting us to give it to them. Take a look at a recent addition to Google Analytics. In order to take advantage of new Goal Conversion templates, customized to our industry, we simply have to tell Google what industry our site is in. Bam – they can now know this inside of knowledge graph and can start doing content analysis and comparisons inside of industries. This is just one example, but there are many others.

    To extend this further, I might be so bold as to claim that Google may be trying to reinvent the web to have it sit on the backbone of G+. In a decade, I wonder how many small businesses will simply use G+ as their website (hello AOL). For simple brochure-type sites, why have a separate site that needs to be optimized when I can get all my optimization out of the way by filling in forms on a G+ page? Perhaps this is a bit out there, but I wouldn’t put it outside the realm of possibility. It would do a lot for Google: The knowledge graph would grow by leaps and bounds; more search results would be delivered directly by Google, rather than through SERPs; People would move to Google Plus and actually start using it – not out of want, but out of need; Once Google owns the data and the results (assuming people trust them), Bing and Yahoo search essentially vanish; With the increased usage of G+, Google gets the crucial social signals to continue augmenting their search results; AdWords makes its move to G+ continuing the revenue stream.

    Anyway, I didn’t intend on this becoming this long but now I feel like I need to make my own blog post about it. Thanks for taking the time to read. What are your thoughts?

    • Wow! Thank you so much Jeff. The points you have put across are absolutely correct but I’m seeing a scenario where guys like Bing and Yahoo will not take this lying down. As we speak Facebook is the top social site with over 1 billion active users who spend an average of 20 minutes on facebook everyday. The reason of bring up facebook is because they are joining up with Bing (Just do a search on facebook and you will notice the web search results are populated by Bing).

      But all this is an advantage to online marketers since we will be spoilt for choice when it comes to cost of marketing and more opportunities to increase our web presence. With what Google, Facebook, Bing and Yahoo are doing the sky is the limit for people seeking to earn a living online.

      Again thank you so much for sharing your valuable sentiments with us. We really appreciate you expertise.

      To your success.

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