Unlocking SEO Possibilities with Semantic Search in 2017

Semantic search makes searches more accurate and turns search engines into answer machines that can provide helpful answers when users ask questions.

Unlocking SEO Possibilities with Semantic Search in 2017

Posted by Myles Golden on Dec 12, 2016

Search technology has greatly improved over the past few years. SEO is more sophisticated and allows users to find results that are more relevant and authoritative. Google has been the leader in search engine rules and SEO guidance. While keywords use to be simple matter of targeting parameters, it's now about semantic search or entity search. This new type of search focuses on machine intelligence to determine the user intent behind a query. It focuses more on the meaning of the words and how they relate to one another in order to provide accurate results. You might already be optimized for semantic search, but here's an overview to better understand this new approach to SEO.

Leading the Way with Semantic Search

Semantic search makes searches more accurate and turns search engines into answer machines that can provide helpful answers when users ask questions. For example, users are frequently using voice search to discover new content. Every day, people are looking more for answers, and it's making writers and marketers create content centric search keywords. Content creators now have to adapt to the changes facing SEO and use different content models to survive the latest changes. Many algorithm updates were made this year that point to the rising importance of entity search. Bing's Satori, Facebook's Knowledge Graph and Google's Hummingbird all included updates for semantic search. Now searches focus less on the keyword and more on the intent. Content creators also have to use structured data and linked open data to make their content clearly readable by crawling search engine bots.

Machines Interpreting the Meaning of Information

Machines (Spiders and Robots) are constantly looking and reading through all content on the Web. Search engine bots are everywhere, and they are now trying to look beyond the letters and words that form queries. It's about comprehending these queries and matching them with the right intents in order to provide the right answers. As content centric search involves, it may even start to remember your searches and favorite places so that when you forget your "store on 22nd st," it automatically knows that you want the place you searched for five weeks ago.

How to Use Linked Open Data

Marketing teams must focus on linked open data principles to provide better content and gain higher rankings as algorithm updates have made these more important. To do this, you should understand that LOD is a structured data representation that uses HTTP URIs and focuses mainly on entity relationship. Entities have attributes that allow you to see the relationship. You can use the following to incorporate LOD principles into your content:

  • URIs or uniform resource identifiers are necessary to indicate what something is.
  • Integrate HTTP URIs so that these things can easily be found by software and people looking for a specific intent.
  • Provide resource description framework or RDF and SPARQL when looking up a URI to use.
  • Link to other related URIs as you publish content on the Web so that they are able to find other things.

Content centric search will ultimately become more evolved with the addition of more LOD to the LOD cloud, which is a massive collective of datasets from all kinds of domains like Life Sciences, BBC, Data.gov and Wikipedia. You can use links to these resources with your identifiers. For example, in your content you may state, "SeaWorld is an attraction of Orlando."

Here you have three entities that can be described with hashtags:

#SeaWorld #attraction #Orlando

SeaWorld is the subject, attraction is the predicate and Orlando is the object of the sentence. Now you would use LOD identifiers to denote that these are entities with the following:

<#SeaWorld> <#attraction> <#Orlando>

With the LOD cloud, you can further describe these entities by using links to resources such as:

<#Orlando> <#sameas> http:/dbpedia.org/resource/orlando

Basically, you are giving a search engine bot everything it needs to make sure that someone with the intent of looking up SeaWorld in Orlando would be able to find your site quickly in the results pages.

What Entity Search Means for Businesses

Businesses will have to focus on developing content that will reach consumers by understanding their intent and using linked open data optimized for search engine bots to read. In addition to entity search optimization, businesses will have to look for opportunities to engage with users through social media and provide blogs that are written by expert or recognized authors as tools like Google Authorship become another measure of how authoritative your content is. Ultimately, businesses will have to find a deeper meaning to their advertising campaigns and avoid the SEO tactics of old that focused solely on keyword analytic tools.

Oh, Technology, You!

Of course, the Internet isn't going to just stop at our computers and mobile devices. These devices were somewhat made to connect online, but pretty soon it will be possible to connect to the Internet through your refrigerator, stove, toilet, microwave and so forth. Televisions have already come along way and even allow you to browse online while you watch your favorite TV shows or install apps for all kinds of entertainment.

Consumers should expect to see new refrigerators that include apps telling you what you can make with what's in the fridge or providing you with a list of groceries you need. New algorithm updates will likely expand on new methods of SEO to combine with this technology as well.

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