About Brendan Hufford’s 2023 SEO Trends Estimation

December 14, 2022
OSF Exclusive

How many SEO-related algorithm updates did Google get in 2022?

Some people say three, while others say three is the tip of the iceberg.

I have noticed unexpected ups and downs throughout all my blogs, and here is what I have been thinking for the past few months:

Old-school keyword research wasn’t doing it for me, and now, search intent research isn’t cutting it alone anymore.

Which is when I saw this post by Brendan Hufford:

But what does this mean?

Let’s elaborate on the key terms here:

  • Old-school (traditional) keyword research: Mixing up your main keyword with related words and seeing the top performing keyword on the topic you’re working on.
  • Search intent: What the reader is looking for when they type in keywords in the search bar, which is what you’re trying to get ranked for.
  • The 3S strategy: Finding out what the user is looking for by literally ASKING them instead of going around the bush.

First thing first, I’m not Brendan. Therefore, I won’t be giving you details about how to implement his 3S structure. I’ll just tell you why this idea makes so much sense, and how you should prepare for your ranking plans in 2023.

This is not a paid promotion by Brendan, it’s just me loving his perceptions about the future of SEO because they make sense, and they work. Here, I have proof:

How do you ask your customers about what they need to know?

Here is what I do:

I am a marketer and content creator, so I don’t talk directly to customers. Customers don’t like marketers (mostly). Instead, I talk to the people who do talk to customers: the teams which Breandan calls “3S - Sales, support, and success”.

  • From the sales team, I usually learn insights about which questions are asked the most. The answer to this question helps me determine the main pain points of our potential customers, and generate more content on that topic.

  • Again, from the sales team, I also learn the unique questions they have heard, possibly those which made them think, “how did no one ever ask this before?”. There aren’t many of those questions, and I don’t ask this question as frequently either. But the answers to those questions help me solve the problems that other people could possibly have but aren’t aware of yet. Therefore, increasing the average session duration. Therefore, ranking higher.

  • The success team mostly provides analytical data for me. Actually, they compile the data for themselves anyway, I just benefit from it. That data usually helps me generate proof for what I’ve said in my articles, and people love seeing proof. But what I love the most is the success stories - since my content can’t shine enough without testimonials. I can’t just keep telling people “how great what we provide” is, they need actual results. And those stories and data, the internal linking, are what keep our work up in the rankings.

  • Last but not least, the support team. From what the biggest pain points are, to what feature is the most difficult to use. All the gems come to me on a silver platter thanks to the database and tickets of the support team. It is the easiest team to get insights from, because they already collect it for their own (and the company’s) sake.

So should I ditch traditional keyword research completely?

Not really. Getting information from clients is a lengthy process, and you can only bore the other teams with your demands a handful of times. So you still need to enhance your findings with keyword research.

Here is what Brendan says about the topic: