The future of search visibility, & what to do about it


You’ve all heard of keywords, I’m sure.  Most of you have heard me say repeatedly that they are dead.   Some of you have probably heard talk about how “Content is King”…and this is still true.  BUT the internet has changed yet again.  Recently Google announced RankBrain.  It is machine-learning artificial intelligence that takes Google searches further.  It asks itself “What is the INTENT of the user as he types his query?”  There are now three things that we need to consider whenever we are creating a digital piece.

  1. To have a decent page rank accompanied with a solid Click Through Rate (CTR), the website must have engaging CONTENT that is updated on a consistent basis.
  2. Since Google understands the user’s intent, the content on our sites must have CONTEXT.  Gone are the days of creating a page with paragraphs containing our keywords.
  3. This content must “make the user a better person.”  Meaning that the information should do one or more of the following: enrich, improve, educate, entertain, provide a solution, etc.

RankBrain works in conjunction with Google’s latest algorithm, Hummingbird.  One of the most crucial pieces of information about Hummingbird is its focus on mobile.  If a user has to “pinch and zoom” to use a site, Google will drop its rank through the floor.   We need to make a radical shift in our approach to website design and development.  We can no longer think of a site as being “mobile inclusive,” and must now think of it as “mobile FIRST.”   This is absolutely crucial if we want our clients to have websites that show up in organic search…at all.  Seriously, if a client can’t afford a “responsive site,” then  just build them a mobile site.  Last year, Google announced that more people are searching via mobile than desktop.  This shift has continued, and recently Google announced that more people are visiting websites on mobile than desktop.


SEO and ORGANIC SEARCH RANKING rely solely upon CONTENT.   This content must be fresh, informative, and consistently updated.

  1. PAGERANK and CLICK-THROUGH-RATE are not the same thing.  A site can appear first in the Organic Search List, and have a much lower click-through-rate.  We must discern the persona’s  INTENT, and serve up relevant content to increase and maintain traffic.
  2. PERSONAS are crucial to building our campaigns and websites.  We do this to a certain extent in the “DEFINE” phase of our “5-D” approach, but we can definitely flush out this portion more fully.
  3. MOBILE cannot be considered optional.  It is mandatory IF search engine visibility is important.  If anything, DESKTOP should be optional…(not recommended!!)

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