From a keyword logic to a thematic approach

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Alex from Twaino Agency.

Today, I’m going to show you why I think we’re moving from a keyword logic to a thematic approach.

So to do this, I’m just going to rely on an article I’m writing on the SEMrush blog, where I’m finally dealing with this topic.

First of all, why is it that finally, in my opinion anyway, keyword logic needs to be overcome?

There are four main reasons in my opinion.

First of all, algorithms are getting smarter and smarter and go far beyond keywords.

Let’s go back in time.

In the early days of the Internet, in the early days of Google, the algorithm was much less precise. Therefore, it was enough to repeat in your content a given keyword and finally you had a huge chance to be first in Google. Because the search engine would search textually in its entire index for the actual keyword and therefore make some kind of match between the two.

Now, clearly, that’s something that’s completely outdated. And besides, if you have the bad idea to over-optimize your content, that is to say to repeat the same keyword over and over again in your page or in your blog post, you risk being penalized.

So today, Google goes further. It manages to capture much more of the queries that are made by users.

One of the changes that was produced not so long ago is with Google Hummingbird, which is one of Google’s algorithms that allows to extend the semantic field of terms.

So today, Google is able to match certain keywords or certain terms, to finally consider that they are in quotation marks as being close or equivalent.

Another point, you have to understand that when you type a search in Google today, the search engine is able to go beyond the keyword. The search engine will try to capture the real intention of the user when he types this keyword.

For this, I give you a simple example.

If you type “lemon pie” in Google, well, the search engine will consider that your real intention, maybe it’s wrong, but that in any case the intention of most users who will type lemon pie will be to find a lemon pie recipe.


And so the problem behind it, it’s not a problem by the way, it’s the observation we can make. Even if you didn’t type “recipe” and you just typed “lemon pie”, Google will consider that the intention of most users who type “lemon pie” will be “the lemon pie recipe” or rather “How to make a lemon pie?


So that was the first point.

Second point, the keywords, we have to realize, especially the short keywords, these are queries that are going to be really coveted.

So, I will have the opportunity in the rest of the article to show you a graph that I have created.

But indeed, for example on short keywords, there are strong chances that they are extremely competitive and therefore, it is very difficult for you to be visible on it. Especially since it is complicated to be visible when you do SEO and even more difficult when this query interests websites that want to pay to be visible. In other words, who do advertising or SEA.

Here, for example, I typed the query “find a car”. And on this request, not surprisingly, there are three advertisements that are proposed. Our friend “la centrale” which is the fourth result, but the first result in organic, is still well down by these SEA results.

So why am I telling you this?

Because finally, when you target a keyword, you potentially put yourself at risk. Because in the end, even if you are first, which I hope you are on a keyword, you will not necessarily be the most visible site. You will be at the mercy of the advertisements.

So having a keyword logic can be potentially dangerous. It may be a big word but in any case, it can be a little dangerous if your keyword is very coveted by advertisers.

Then, the third point is the thematic content and therefore the best response to new requests.

Indeed, you should know that 15% of the searches or queries that are made on Google at the moment are unpublished. This is something that is relatively colossal and even more interesting because it can be considered as a kind of opportunity.

That means that on these new queries, well, it is likely that nobody has placed on natural referencing and that advertisers are not on it too (I will have the opportunity to go into more detail on what I mean by thematic content). But, when you only place yourself on a keyword itself, finally, you have little chance, if it is really precise and relatively short, to appear in these queries that are new.

So now I’m going to talk about semantic fields. This is the fourth point.

Even if it seems a little surprising, your content, your articles, your blog, can go up in Google on keywords that have never appeared on your blog article.

This is something that may seem a little counter-intuitive but in fact, this is the richness of Google today, which will have this semantic reasoning and will consider that, even if the request could contain a certain number of keywords, the best way to respond to this request will be your content. Even if this content does not contain the keyword itself. Hence the importance of having a content that is unique, original, with above all a very important semantic richness.

So now, I’ll have the opportunity to present you a little more what I mean by the thematic approach.

Just to put it in context, from my point of view, the quality of the content is really an element that is absolutely fundamental at the moment when you propose a content on the Internet so that the search engine can find you correctly.


Because since the beginning, Google says “The content is king”. In other words, “The content is king”. And since the beginning, we can say that the search engine is really consistent with this idea. Therefore, the real good way to appear in Google and to gain authority, to gain visibility, is to really understand that there is a kind of permanent bidding in the quality of the content. If you can come up with content that is qualitative, accurate, and meets the intent of the users, you will really succeed in winning on the Internet. And so that’s really what my point is here.

It’s the fact that, if you focus on quality, user experience, ultimately you’re going to offer something that’s going to be, that’s going to potentially go beyond even the users’ expectations.

And for that, Google will reward you.

What I mean by thematic content in a much more precise way, is the fact of having a content that will be structured, for example with chapters, and that will be long, precise, relatively deep, that will potentially use statistics, expert words, that will use images, illustrations, infographics, that will also integrate tweets, videos, audio… In short, this is really the way, from my point of view, to get content that is differentiating, that really helps the user in the end and above all, that becomes a kind of reference content on the Internet.

Because let’s face it, today, the problem is no longer the lack of content but for Google, it’s the fact of saying “I have a kind of avalanche of content on the web, how do I differentiate between content that is good, content that is a little bit average and content that is excellent?”

And overall, overkill in quality is the right way and the right approach to succeed on the web.

Another point is that the more precise, long and detailed your content is going to be, the more you will be able to use a rich semantic field and you will be able to be well placed, especially on “long tail” queries.

This is a graph that I made. So you see high costs and competition and here the conversion.

And obviously, on generic keywords, with for example one word, there are a lot of people who will try to place. The only thing is that there is a lot of competition and so it’s very difficult. In addition to this, the conversions are relatively low, whereas even if the “long tail” keywords are much less competitive, they will also allow a much higher conversion.

So overall, it is allowed when you can have a precise, detailed content, in other words, a thematic content.

However, does this mean that we should completely forget this keyword logic?

In fact, for me, the idea is really to integrate the two. You really have to propose a thematic content, by optimizing with keywords.

First of all, saying that you are going to do without keywords is both false and irrelevant, because in any case, at the end there will be certain elements that you will have to optimize.

I’m thinking in particular of URLs, meta description tags, anchor texts… in short. All this must be optimized properly and for this, you will necessarily have to rely on a keyword itself.

In fact, what really hurts is the fact of writing a content that is a type content or a content of low quality and short, and especially, if you over-optimized with this keyword there in a short content, is that you will have tried to get lit by Google.

So that’s it, I’m done for this video. I hope you found it interesting.

Overall for me, the logic is quite simple.

When I talk about moving from a keyword logic to a thematic approach, in two words, it would mean that rather than having fifteen articles on your blog, very short articles of 200, 300, 500 words on a specific keyword each time, what I advise you is that if all this could be grouped in a single article, do it. Because it will allow you to have a content that is thematic, that you can structure with different types of chapters. You’ll be able to have a much wider semantic field and offer multimedia, video, illustrations and therefore, overall, offer additional added value for users.

By doing this, of course, insofar as it will be content that will help users and really respond to their intention, Google can only reward you by pushing your content to the top.

I hope you enjoyed it.

See you soon for the rest!

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