There are over 200 ranking factors to rank higher in Google Search.
But is Search Intent the most important ranking in March 2020?
It certainly raises an interesting debate because for many years people have always said backlinks is the #1 factor.
What Is Search Intent?
Search intent is the why behind a search query.
Here are some reasons why the person made the search:
- Do they want to learn something?
- Are they looking to make a purchase?
- Are they looking for a particular website?
Google’s aim is to provide users with the most relevant result for their query hence the reason why it is paramount for Google to understand the intent behind the search.
“Organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Understanding Search Better
Googles job is to figure out what you’re searching for and surface helpful information from the web, no matter how you spell or combine the words in your query.
Google introduced a neural network-based technique for natural language processing (NLP) pre-training called Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers aka BERT.
BERT can process words in relation to all the other words in a sentence, rather than one-by-one in order. BERT models can, therefore, consider the full context of a word by looking at the words that come before and after it.
These advancements are particularly useful for understanding the intent behind search queries. As you can see here they are understanding searches better than ever before with the improvements made to the algorithms BERT update.
Why BERT Is Changing The SEO Game?
Now BERT can understand words, phrases and meanings in the sentences with Bidirectional systems the whole ranking for keywords strategy is changing.
Keyword Intent is now becoming topic intent and matching the search query with the best concise answer is what is winning in March 2020.
The answers to your search queries need formatted and structured in a way for Google to easily grab your answer and place you to the top of the search results.
Best Guides for Search Intent SEO
From our research here is the best guides for search intent SEO:
Thoughts From The Biggest Online Entrepreneurs
The best way to settle arguments or debates on this is to see what the biggest SEOs and affiliate marketers say with regards to search intent.
Fail to give searchers what they want, and your chances of ranking are slim to none. We’ve seen this time and time again with the content we publish.
Even if you do manage to “trick” Google for a short while and rank with a low-quality or ill-fitting page, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll figure things out eventually. It might be tomorrow, or next month, or next year, but when they do, your rankings will drop like a stone.
If you want to rank long-term, make it your mission to give searchers what they want. Google will almost certainly reward you for doing so.
Google’s goal with organic search has always been able to provide the best answer to a query. Google has become increasingly smarter at understanding a query’s search intent.
The more you can satisfy the user’s search intent, the more likely you are going to get that #1 rank.
Look at the search results for the specific queries to get a good idea of the search intent and how the websites on the first results page satisfy those queries. For example, for the search term “buy headphones”, you are not going to rank #1 with a “Top 5 Headphones affiliate post”.
In this example, the intent is to purchase, not to read a review.
Google knows what people are looking for. It’s your job to give it to them.
James Z Dooley
We have found that if we format sentences in a specific way that meets the search query precisely, we are getting huge jumps.
Google used to rank keywords and be a mathematical algorithm where simply placing words in certain positions could rank your websites. But now with BERT you need to structure your sentences better and concentrate on search intent much more.
If you write precisely the answer in a structural format you stand a great chance to rank higher in the search engines.
“If you want to rank in March 2020, you need to be the most relevant result for the query. First and foremost, that means creating content that aligns with search intent.”
We have tested surfer SEO and structuring sentences for keyphrases we should not rank for on the merits of backlinks or supporting content and seen jumps from the second page all the way to ranking number one in Google.
Matching the keyword intent of the search outweighs all other ranking factors because Google wants to return the best answers to the query.
For that reason, I believe Search Intent is the most important ranking factor in March 2020.