The Rising Importance of Concepts

Consider for a moment the movie Twilight. If you search for “the movie with sparkly vampires,” Google returns results related to the film. This isn’t because it’s serving up pages that contain the words “movie” and “sparkly vampires.” Instead, it’s associating these two concepts and returning the most logical conclusion: that you’re asking about the popular franchise.
Many confuse this with long-tail keywords, which is a concept that’s more closely linked with the older paradigm of single keywords. Long-tail keywords are clusters of two, three, or more keywords that follow each other in sequence. Instead of searching for “sneakers,” you might search for “red men’s sneakers.” From the long-tail perspective, Google optimizes for pages that contain all three words. In theory you get a smaller percentage of traffic, but it’s more targeted and more likely to be a good fit for your site, products, and content.
This doesn’t eliminate the importance of keywords. First, many people will still search for “Twilight” and you need to focus some of your site’s technical optimization on your target keywords. But Google’s increasing sophistication with developing conceptual search has opened many doors for website owners to expand their reach and connect with new visitors. You may also hear this referred to as Latent Semantic Indexing or LSI keywords.
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