Now that search engines have become smarter, what role do keywords have left to play? The traditional SEO strategy of identifying specific non-branded keywords (keywords that don’t have your hotel name in them, such as “family hotels in Barcelona”) and then using that exact phrase within the meta tags and text of the webpage is relatively outdated, especially when you consider how search engines have evolved. Not only have most search engines changed their algorithms to give more emphasis on user relevance (i.e. “Does this page answer the user query and user intentions?”), advancements such as personalized search results (displaying results which have been tailored to your personal profile, as obtained thanks to Google’s “all-seeing-eye” which monitors your every move online), localized search (emphasizing the importance of mobile search optimization), and the rise of voice search have forced digital marketers to rethink their approach to SEO strategy. On top of that, an increased emphasis from search engines on paid ads vs. organic search results means that big travel brands with big advertising budgets can own a huge amount of real estate on a search results page. Hotels hoping to rank for competitive non-branded keywords (“top hotels in Ireland,” “best beach hotel Miami”) have very little chance in making it to the first page of results, much less the top. Get the full story at Travel Tripper