The data that appears in Google’s Keyword Planner when, for example, the key phrase “Houston SEO” is searched, may differ from last month’s results. This is due to Google applying restrictions on its volume search data visibility. If you’re doing SEO yourself instead of using a professional marketing company for SEO services, pay attention–your SEO keyword strategy may need to change.
What are Google’s New Volume Search Restrictions?
Before this past June, if you searched the word Houston and then searched Houston, TX, you may have gotten different results–sites with just the word Houston versus sites with both the city and state abbreviation. Now Google will lump together words that appear to be similar:
- Plurals of the same word will be listed together
- Acronyms will be lumped together with the words spelled out
- Root words will NOT be lumped together with all other suffixed versions of the word
- Punctuation indicating plural or possessives of the same word will be lumped together
Google continually changes its formula for ranking searches based on what is best for the searcher. The better search results, the more users will turn to Google for online searches. For marketers with a Houston SEO research strategy that doesn’t account for these changes, your pages may not show up now. Here’s what you need to look out for:
Not all Similar Words are Lumped Together
While plurals and punctuation represent the largest groups of keywords that will now be lumped together, it is not always true. When using Google Keyword Planner, you will likely need the enterprise version to get a better clue about how to differentiate similar words for appropriate Houston SEO.
Picking Most Used Terms Takes More Work
Up until now, the basic Google Keyword Planner gave you the most popular search terms to work from. Now keywords that used to be categorized separately will become needles in a haystack. To pick the right terms to stand out, it is going to take more work on your part as a marketer doing different searches using a number of variants of your SEO keywords.
Changing Suffixes Could Help Rankings
As stated earlier, one of the places where similar words are still broken out is where suffixes change the meaning of the word. For instance searching “number of Houston homes sold” versus “number of Houston homes for sale” will still bring up different results because sold and sale are two different meanings of the same word. It may not work for all of your pages but some of them could use a minor suffix change to account for Google’s volume search restrictions.
Paid SEO Services are Now Necessary
Over the last decade or more, many software tools have been developed to help lay people market their online businesses, including Google’s Keyword Planner. However, years of amateur keyword stuffing has caused Google to be much stricter with how their search engine results are displayed. You may need to hire a company that specializes in providing SEO services–and ITVibes can help! Contact us for brand management help including developing a keyword strategy using analytic data from current SERPs.