Business would be a lot easier if we could all see the future. Unfortunately, short of hiring a medium, the mists of time will remain clouded to us all. But Google does its best to read its users’ collective minds in the form of predictive search. It’s not always successful, it’s not always logical, but it’s something you’ll have to deal with in your quest for SEO domination. So how do predictive search and SEO work together? And how can you manipulate the fates to your advantage?
What Is Predictive Search?
First, a definition or two might be useful. Predictive search (also called ‘autocomplete’) has been around since 2004. It’s designed to make our internet life easier by anticipating what we might be searching for and filling it in for us. You’ve no doubt all seen it in action. And yes, let’s be honest, most of the time it is pretty handy.
Google uses a real-time global algorithm to distil all of its internet activity into a list of popular searches, as well as utilising previous search terms that you’ve conducted.
For example, right now, if you type the words ‘why do’ into the search bar, Google may happily suggest such existential dilemmas as ‘why do I want to feel sad’ or hard-hitting questions like ‘why do cats purr’. (Which is pretty much dead on, as the Venn diagram of people who are into both melancholia and cats is basically a perfect circle.)
What Is Predictive SEO?
Predictive SEO refers to you stacking the deck a little in terms of what might become popular in the future. It means creating content that you think will become relevant before it’s relevant. SEO is extremely competitive; predicting how the SEO tides might change can give you an invaluable edge in the fight to the top of the charts.
How Does Predictive Search Affect SEO?
It can be hard to force predictive search to conform to your keyword strategy; downright impossible, actually. But with long-tail keywords gaining more prominence with every passing year, analysing predictive searches can help you glean insight into what popular topics people search for, and how they phrase their searches.
In turn, this can help you tailor the perfect SEO strategy to get the most out of the search terms surrounding your industry. Even better, it can feed into a predictive SEO approach that could see you become the internet medium – seeing even further into the future than our all-powerful AI overlord, Google.
But remember: this is just the cherry on top. The sundae underneath is comprised of regular quality content infused with a robust and pertinent keyword strategy. Having this will help you ride the wave over any predictive SEO trends. Most turn out to be flashes in the pan anyway! It’s crucial to focus predominantly on your blog and site copy rather than becoming overly obsessed with your digital crystal ball.