Many SEO experts devote a tremendous amount of attention to keyword research. They are constantly trying to figure out what keywords would be most effective for their clients in general, and their individual projects more specifically. But how important are keywords these days? Moreover, is asking questions a better way to search the web?
Keywords are still critical to search engine results pages (SERP) in that they form the foundation of how Google and its competitors rank sites for searchers. There has to be some baseline measuring tool, and keywords are it. Yet a paradigm shift is now underway. Google, Microsoft, and a handful of other technology companies are implementing machine learning, artificial intelligence, and voice recognition technologies in ways that are changing how people search the internet.
As those technologies are advanced, more emphasis is being put on long-tail keywords. This could inevitably lead to a point in time where it is more productive to focus on questions users might ask rather than single keywords. In short, internet searches are becoming more conversational.