Death to keywords

Keyword rankings are the insatiable, brain-munching zombie of marketing metrics. The problem is: they just won’t stay dead.

So many factors have made keyword rankings completely useless—personalization, geo-location, changes in the search algorithm, etc. And those aren’t even new!

This shift has been happening over a period of years, yet some marketers still march out rankings for specific keywords at reporting time like they actually mean something.

Ditch the security blanket. Keyword rankings are done. Take – for one time – the word of the advertizers:

The future for ‘pay-per-click’ marketing are keywordless ads.


What? Where? Who?

Keywords have served us well over 15 years as a proxy for user intent.  Intent, not behaviour. With today’s big data and technology enabled insight behind it, keywords will be combined with more powerful signals like browsing history, past purchases, your emails, mobile location, the time of day, demographic data, etc.

This will allow content marketers and advertisers to be much more pickier – buying fewer, more qualified clicks, without ever having to specify millions of keywords.

The death of keywords match types and the rise of keywordless ads are important milestones on the journey.

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