As search engines continuously race towards betterment, Google came up with another significant change in its search algorithm that directly affects the SERP rankings of a web-page.
The update brought a new concept of ‘subtopics for the search queries that are extremely broad and aren’t specific. To help searchers find what they need, Google will now bring more variety to the search results by showing varied results for a very general query.
What does it mean for marketers, SEOs, and writers? Will they need to improvise their marketing strategies according to this update? Do they need to change the web-page structure to optimize it? — I will talk about everything in this article.
What are Google’s Subtopics?
According to Google’s update rolled out at the end of 2020, Google will deliberately show results that focus on subtopics of a general search term to diversify SERP results.
When the user is searching for something very broad, it’s harder for Google to understand what exactly he is trying to find. To solve this problem, Google came up with the ‘subtopics’ that are easier for Google’s algorithm to understand and display variable results.
For example, if you type in a general search query such as ‘moon,’ Google doesn’t know what you’re trying to find out about the ‘moon.’ — It may be about its minerals, it may be about its orbit, it might be something related to its luminosity.
Now the SERP will show results for subtopics such as moon eclipse, moon crescent, etc.
Since Google wants its search engine to be as much user-friendly as possible, subtopics update is made similar to a concept that is understandable for a human. Google will better understand specific pages rather than a bulky web-page of thousands of words and images.
How Google’s Subtopics Will Affect SEO World?
SEO has always been focused on the single concept of ‘satisfying the searcher’s intent’ — Whether it’s in the form of images, text, links, videos, news, or maps, search results always are always meant to help the searchers find what they need.
Specific search queries are easily targeted, indexed, and ranked on Google SERPs, but general search terms don’t have a specific intent; the queries are sometimes vague or too broad.
SEO experts will need to fasten their seat belts as the competition for general search terms is going to be more challenging than ever. Short-tail keywords always have higher search volume, but the difficulty is extremely high to rank for them.
It will be even more difficult to compete for them as a new website because many search results will appear as subtopics.
Suppose you’re in a low-competitive niche — Good for you because you’ll easily dominate a big chunk of keywords that are general but easier to rank on. All you need is to consistently produce high-quality content and make detailed web pages for each sub-topic.
You’ll need to wait until we actually see and test how Google’s subtopics algorithm update will work. It’s too early to say what ranking signals Google will use to prioritize the search results.
But one thing is for sure — Keyword research will become more important for SEO professionals as they compete to rank for broader search terms.
SEO campaigns will be difficult to run without a heavily dependent keyword research strategy that will have a major focus on Google subtopics.
SEO Guidelines for Google SubTopics
While it’s too early to say anything about subtopics ranking signals, you can still prepare yourselves to make an SEO strategy for subtopics based on the search engine optimization best practices.
Here are some key notes to prepare for subtopics update:
- High-quality content is and always will be the most needed thing for SEO optimization. If your website lacks it, you can’t compete with top search results.
- Nicely structured content will now have better chances of getting Google’s attention because it’s easier to understand and match with the searcher’s intent.
- On-page SEO will have a more prominent role in SEO optimization due to subtopics and their web-pages. Off-page SEO will become less controllable.
- Other SEO strategies like meta descriptions, title optimization, image ALT tags will remain the same and important.
How Keyword Research Will Be Impacted By Subtopics?
As I mentioned, keyword research is already a pillar in SEO strategies, but now it will have more impact on your SEO campaigns’ success ratio.
Before researching keywords for subtopics, identify what subtopics relate to your business, blog, or service website. The more your target audience relates to the keywords, the more conversion rate you will get.
Google subtopics update will change the world of high traffic keywords that are too general when both publisher and Google don’t have an idea about the searcher’s intent.
For example, if someone writes a search query ‘SEO content writing in Spanish,’ it is evident that the searcher wants search engine optimized writing services in the Spanish language.
Now consider another search query, ‘content writing,’ — Intent is unclear, and it can’t be decided whether the searcher wants writing services or wants to learn writing skills.
Long-tail keywords will more likely become subtopics, and content creators will have to create quality content related to their niche.
EAT Approach for Subtopics
Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness — The three words that haunt SEO beginners.
But in actuality, they can bring huge traffic opportunities when applied right.
Luckily, we already have a handful of instructions by Google to establish E-A-T in your field; writing high-quality content that fulfills searchers’ intent remains the most important aspect of establishing E-A-T.
Here are some other E-A-T- rules to make your website ready for subtopics and other Google updates in the future:
- Make user-friendly pages.
- Avoid black-hat SEO techniques.
- Make contact information available on your website.
- Link social media accounts to your website.
- Engage in forums and groups to create brand awareness.
- Avoid plagiarized text, images, and videos on your website.
- Ensure that the webpage fulfills user intent.
That’s all the information you need to know about Google subtopics update. You’re ready to take part in this newest race of SEO alongside other competitors.