There are some major changes happening that will impact search results and how marketers optimize their content - and SEOs are scared.

Hummingbird, semantics and Knowledge Graph are three terms that might have once seemed innocuous to marketers. They now strike some degree of apprehension in over half of SEOs, according to survey data gathered by Barry Schwartz for the Search Engine RoundTable.

Around 37 percent of SEOs admit they are scared of the Knowledge graph, and 17 percent said they sometimes feel afraid of it. For some background: Knowledge Graphs could be seen as a threat to organic content in search results because Google is looking to serve up as much information as possible on info cards and in carousels to give users instant access to the answers they want. However, this could cannibalize traffic from brands that are publishing the relevant insights and data on their blogs if searchers don’t look past the results at the top of SERPs.

In the post announcing the findings, Schwartz explained this survey was conducted in response to Amit Singhal’s analogy of the Knowledge Graph as a Swiss Army Knife during his keynote speech at this year’s SMX West. According to Singhal, Google wants to be the jack-of-all-trades implement that gets the job done quickly, while it’s up to brands to be the high-end tools that are used to complete the work thoroughly.

Apparently 45 percent of SEOs feel confident in this answer (or their abilities to retain search traffic in general) because they’re not fearful of Knowledge Graph’s impact at all. It’s possible this demographic views the changes as fresh opportunities and understands there are now more ways to optimize content and get in front of target audiences. Either way, it’s unlikely brands’ feedback will sway the search giant’s trajectory because Google appears to be moving full speed ahead in its efforts to improve users’ search experiences.

Want to know more about Google’s search plans? Download this ebook for answers or review this blog post about how SEO is evolving.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.