Google Discusses Zero Search Volume Keyword Targeting

In a Google office hours hangout, Googlers answer the question of whether or not to try ranking for zero search volume keywords.

The person asking the question noted that they’re ranking for keywords that have zero search volume and whether they should target those for ranking purposes.

They asked:

“Let’s say I research on a keyword which has no volume or keyword density, but we are appearing for those keywords on the first page.

Should we target that keyword?”

A Googler identifying themself as Lizzi (likely Lizzi Harvey) answered the question.

She responded:

“…You can optimize for whatever keywords you want.

And it’s not always about the keywords that have the most volume.

I would think about how people should find your page and target those keywords.”

Consider How People Search

Lizzi’s answer is similar to what’s written in Google’s documentation in the SEO Starter Guide.

The SEO starter guide document also recommends thinking about how users might find a webpage.

What’s interesting is that they suggest thinking of how different readers might search depending on their knowledge or experience level.

Someone who’s new to a topic might search with unconventional phrases while someone who’s experienced will use the jargon that is commonly used.

For example, someone new to saltwater fishing might search for saltwater fishing lures.

Someone who is more experienced might search for a pikie metal lip plug (which is a handmade wooden lure that swims with a puppy tail wagging motion).

Google’s SEO Starter Guide advises:

“Anticipating these differences in search behavior and accounting for them while writing your content (using a good mix of keyword phrases) could produce positive results.”

As for the content, the SEO starter guide advises writing and optimizing for a readers needs.

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Zero Search Volume Keyword Targeting

There is a trend being talked about called Zero Search Volume Keywords Targeting.

It’s an unhelpfully named keyword research strategy. The strategy is actually about targeting longtail search queries.

Longtail queries are keyword phrases that are rarely searched for.

The concept of longtail is often erroneously referred to as keyword phrases that are very long. That is incorrect.

It’s the rarity of how often it’s searched for that is the defining characteristic.

And it’s a useful strategy because if the phrase is something that someone would search for then it’s useful to optimize for it.

So it all circles back to what Lizzi suggested, to think about how people might search and use those phrases within the content.

Listen to the Google Office Hours hangout at the 13:05 minute mark


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