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How Content Clusters In Query Suggestions Are Changing The Game Of SEO

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Pankaj Sakariya
March 27, 2019
Content Clusters

“Our job is not to create content. Our job is to change the world of the people who consume it”

–  Andrea Fryrear

The self-acclaimed Content clusters are defining a new way to bloom the relationship between content marketing and SEO. The approach towards keyword research has changed and once the backbone of every SEO strategy is now almost dead.

Long ago, people used to search on Google using fragmented keyword queries in to the search engines and expected an accurate answer. But now, the first big shake-up related to this was done by Google’s Hummingbird update in 2013. This update focused on processing even phrases rather than solely keywords.

The next major algorithm update, Rankbrain, almost changed everything back in 2015. SEO service providers in the US and other countries are constantly working to keep pace with the algorithms. It was designed to understand the context of people’s search queries. Even before the searcher completes the typing, query suggestions appear.

Somehow even Google understands that users are no more looking for content based on keyword research and hence it came up with a slightly different approach.

A Google patent that focuses on user query interpretations covers that, the user query is just the tip of the iceberg that specifies an information need. A single profile to handle a variety of queries of the users may not be sufficient. It proposes to use query-specific contexts rather than user-centric ones.

Before going ahead, let’s know more on Content clusters:

Create a page that tries to solve the pain point of your potential customer. Don’t push forward all your services on the pillar page, instead, slowly and gradually acknowledge them about your services and better solution.
This procedure of creating varied pages that revolve around a central topic is called a content cluster.

This model you can say is a replica of Hub(Content cluster)-and-Spoke(pages related to the hub) used in transportation and telecommunication.

The pages are interlinked to the central page to boost organic traffic. The functionality is almost the same as that of the Google Assistant that shows result based on the interest.

Based on the location, date and time, user preferences and interests, each context cluster includes a group of more than one query. Based on the list of queries provided to the user, it is expected that at least one query will be selected.

Upon the selection of any one context cluster from the suggestion, list of other queries grouped into the cluster shall also be provided as an option.

The patent abstract says:

Methods, systems, and apparatus for generating data describing context clusters and context cluster probabilities, wherein each context cluster includes query inputs based on the input context for each of the query inputs and the content described by each query input, and each context cluster probability indicates a probability that at a query input that belongs to the context cluster will be selected by the user, receiving, from a user device, an indication of a user event that includes data indicating a context of the user device, selecting as a selected context cluster, based on the context cluster probabilities for each of the context clusters and the context of the user device, a context cluster for selection input by the user device, and providing, to the user device, data that causes the user device to display a context cluster selection input that indicates the selected context cluster for user selection.

Let’s understand it more with an example:

Suppose that you are at a mall and you start a search for “movies”. You just type movies in the Google Search and you automatically get suggestions. Now from the given clusters, if you select anything specific, it offers a carousel of other sub-categories to choose from.

This is an example of how context clusters work. Though the example given not necessarily mention of how this algorithm works in particular. There is more that has yet to be explained.

SEO company in USA and others are strategizing to adopt this methodology of skyscraper pages(pillar pages) or creating clusters. If succeeded, it will offer the best user experience and would be the compelling reason for search engines to rank you higher.

This patent provides a rich environment and facilitates user to explore beyond just keyword search. Customize content of the pillar page allows Google to understand the cluster in depth, and thus ranks each page based on the search queries.