How Search Engines use Search Intent
Search engines are now so advanced they understand what a user is trying to achieve while searching. What their intent is.
Technology is evolving every day, and in the process, becomes more and more in tune with the people using it. When it comes to search engines, Google’s understanding and application of Search Intent allows them to maintain the ‘top dog’ status by providing users with quick, relevant search results with minimal friction.
Although many may believe that Search Intent is a brand new idea that the geniuses at Google cooked up in the lab, it’s really not that new. Yes, it may quickly become the trending key phrase used by fellow marketers, but it’s something we knew as ‘semantics’ — the meaning behind a word or phrase.
So, if Search Intent isn’t a new idea, how did it come about?
Before 2013, Google’s search algorithm was driven primarily by connecting keywords in the searcher’s request to the text on a web page. This lead to the practice of Keyword Stuffing (eww!), implementing lots of keywords on websites to influence Google rankings.
2013 - 2015
In Autumn 2013, Google released the Hummingbird update, and the search landscape began to shift. RankBrain followed this in 2015, which provided Google with the means to determine user intention through machine learning (the ability of machines to teach themselves from data).
And just like that… the volume of keywords was no longer the critical factor in ranking content — now, what Google values most is your content’s ability to satisfy their user’s needs and offer a valuable source of information.
Most Recent Updates
Although the 2013 and 2015 updates played a considerable role in the current search landscape and how businesses (and marketers, of course) should be looking at content, Google had no plans to sit back and relax.
Subsequent updates and the implementation of more advanced tools have helped Google better understand the actual meaning and intent behind the words we enter into search engines. Rather than simply matching keywords to content.
Google is fantastic at what they do, and they’re only going to get better. If your content doesn’t suit their needs or your target audience’s needs, it will soon drop down the rankings.
The goal of Search Intent is to align Google’s objectives with your own. With this in mind, you can (and should) produce content targeted to the search intentions and keywords that have the most relevance to your audience.