James Allen | 28/06/17
What Happens to Keywords Over Time?
As the word population grows, more and more people use the web and (invariably) use Google:
This means that each individual keyword grows (in terms of Search Volume) over time. A keyword with 80 search volume one year may have 120 search volume the next year.
As keywords ‘grow’ they become more competitive. Regardless of our growing population and internet usage, 120 searchers don’t become worth less than they were worth before.
They still bring X amount of traffic / money to the table and that can still be used to purchase Y product (or make 'Y' investment). As the population of Earth grows, what we can achieve is enhanced and made easier as there are more clients and customers across the globe! This is proven by the fact that during normal economic periods, GDP growth almost exactly mirrors population growth. With the recession and sporadic uncertainty enveloping the United Kingdom, that hasn't quite been true lately. Under general, noramal circumstances however: it does hold true.
When keywords grow they become more competitive and get noticed by giant international agencies (or in-house teams of enterprise-level sites). As such the directly below type of dynamic between smaller and larger sites (or smaller and larger agencies) tends to occur:
So There’s Always a Bigger Fish and we Eventually Lose Some Keywords: WHERE DO WE GET NEW ONES!?
Luckily there’s also benefit of more web-users being born every day, more Google searchers are constantly being born.
Keywords which never existed before come into being. Keywords which have no search volume right now will spawn and have rising search volume(s) in the future.
This is why SEO is becoming more and more long-tail oriented: that’s never going to stop!
People can say (or 'search') things in different ways. There are always searches ('queries') we find in Google Analytics / Google Search Console which (when we look them up in the Keyword Planner), have no search volume. At one point they had no volume, right now they have too little volume to display as being above zero - and in the future they will have lots of volume purely due to our expanding population, standardized (yet evolving) language and expanding digital frontiers.
So as old keywords are lost, new keywords are spawned, they become more viable over time and help our clients!
So Why Does SEO Ranking Data Always 'Look Bad' Even when Traffic & SEO-Led Revenue are Increasing?
This is because ranking data, ranking tables and even a SearchScape Analysis are fairly static. Although tracked ranking data is static, what really goes on is transient.
Many teams, agencies and individual SEOs put in and choose keywords just one time and then leave a keyword research piece alone - pretty much forever!
But the keywords connecting with a client’s site change and flux. Bigger inflating ones get poached, up-and-coming ones feed in from below like this:
Basically ‘tracked’ keywords can come completely out of alignment which is why keyword research is an on-going thing. If your research piece remains too 'static' as keywords slide through any given site in question; it (arteficially) creates the illusion that all rankings are always dropping. Indeed: many do, but what you don't see is all the new, fresh blood being pumped in which is actually most of the work.
Even when keyword research is on-going though, this problem occurs and can make us look 'iffy'.
Our only way around this is to:
Find all the new keywords your client’s site is sucking up
Get ranking data for those new keywords to add-in, to offset ‘expiring’ keywords which are being poached by those with 'titan of industry' budgets
Balance out our reports and perform new KWR (keyword research) every single month
We can just write this blog post so that there's a simple way for us to explain this phenomenon to all active and potential clients.
Hope this helped you out - hope it was a good read! Remember: focus on traffic, revenue and conversions generated through SEO, not rankings which provide an inaccurate and highly skewed view of your campaign.
Previous: welcome to Iulia Simion