Maintaining clarity in the research phase of search engine optimization is required for gathering useful data. Performing world-class research begins with aligning the research efforts with goals.
Your goals are one side of a conversation. If your goal is to sell more inventory, a conversation with someone who wants to buy would be most beneficial. “Want-to-buy” is a micro-moment and it requires a distinct kind of keyword.
At the heard to methodical analysis we identify relevant keywords that aligned with goals that are, in turn, aligned with micro-moments. Successfully identifying these keywords requires us to treat keywords like the distinct variables that they are.
There are four basic types of keywords: informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional. I would expect different types of keywords to be used for different assets. For example: you might not use navigational keywords to try and drive traffic to a broad industry-relevant blog post, but you might use them for a mobile application description.
RankBrain is an artificial intelligence program that determines rank based on factors beyond keywords, clicks, site authority, and so on.
If that sounded like a vague description of how RankBrain measures position, think about it this way: Paul Haahr is a top software engineer at Google, he’s been there for over 14 years, and he played a key role in the development of RankBrain and even he doesn’t even fully understand how it works. While researching keywords is still important, it isn’t a silver bullet, and doing it should be methodical and purposeful.