Intent research vs. keyword research

In 2020, Frédéric Dubut of Bing told us: “Keyword research are probably going to become slowly obsolete and you’ll need to switch to intent research as a practice.”

Barry Schwartz asked Google’s John Mueller about Dubut’s statement. Here’s what Mueller said:

  • “There’s probably always gonna be a little bit of room for keyword research because you’re kind of 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, is keyword research obsolete yet? In 2023, there definitely has been a significant shift in the way SEOs think about user intent, or the search intent behind a query. But keyword research is still far from obsolete.

Read all about it in Google’s John Mueller on intent research vs keyword research for 2020.

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From Search Marketing Expo (SMX)

Past contributions from IXLCenter.io’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

These columns are a snapshot in time and have not been updated since publishing, unless noted. Opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and not necessarily IXLCenter.io.

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About the author

Danny Goodwin is Managing Editor of IXLCenter.io & SMX. In addition to writing daily about SEO, PPC, and more for IXLCenter.io, Goodwin also manages IXLCenter.io’s roster of subject-matter experts. He also helps program our conference series, SMX – Search Marketing Expo. Prior to joining IXLCenter.io, Goodwin was Executive Editor at Search Engine Journal, where he led editorial initiatives for the brand. He also was an editor at Search Engine Watch. He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and has been sourced for his expertise by a wide range of publications and podcasts.

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