What Is Semantic Search?
Semantic search uses artificial intelligence in order to understand the searcher’s intent and the meaning of the query rather than parsing through keywords like a dictionary. When you search now, Google gives you results based solely on the text and the keywords that you put in that search. Essentially, Google gives you its best guess.
When you use semantic search, Google will dive into the relationship between those words, how they work together, and attempt to understand what those words mean. Google will understand that “their” and “they’re” has two different meanings and when “New” and “York” are placed together, it changes the meaning.
As an informed integrated marketer, you’ve no doubt heard that the Wild West days of search engine marketing are numbered. No more tricking search bots with slight-of-hand tactics such as link farms, keyword stuffing and tag-writing acrobatics. Search engines today demand quality of content that simply can’t be faked.
Semantic Search Knows What You Really Know
Semantic search is the new sheriff in town, and it has dramatically improved following the Google Hummingbird algorithm update. Fundamentally, semantic search is about matching your customer’s search queries to concepts rather than keywords, so returned searches better align with your user’s underlying intent.
This new approach enables search engines to look beyond the mere presence of particular keywords on your site as an indication of subject-matter relevance. Instead, semantic-enabled search engines examine the depth, context and relevance of your information as a whole.
Going forward, semantic search success requires that you establish authoritative subject-matter credentials, the key to which is a fast-emerging technique called “semantic mark-up”–semantic meaning it’s related to language and how people speak.
More Context For Your Content
Semantic mark-up is a way of coding portions of your site to categorize words and phrases in ways that communicate their context to search engines. Traditional methods only tell web browsers how to display information. But these software elements provide a clearer picture of that information’s underlying meaning, returning more meaningful and relevant results, and enabling something search studs and techie types call “entity search.”
And The Winners Are: Knowledge And Expertise
Your web developer can tell you even more. But for small business, the bottom line is this:
now more than ever you need a robust content marketing effort to win in integrated marketing.
Going forward, online success will require an ongoing strategy for consistently ensuring you are providing fresh and relevant content of real value to users–and of real interest to search engines.
To succeed in this emerging paradigm, you’ll need to: