Data Density and Semantic Search – Hangout On Air with David Amerland and Mark Traphagen

Semantic search is going to change everything about the way we do our SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

In this video David Amerland and Mark Traphagen talk about what’s new in the Semantic World, what we are seeing and what needs to be done by web marketers and website owners in order to utilise the power of the emerging semantic technologies.

But first thing first.

What is Semantic Search?

According to Wikipedia:

Semantic search seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding searcher intent and the contextual meaning of terms as they appear in the searchable dataspace, whether on the Web or within a closed system, to generate more relevant results.

(On the other side to understand what Semantic Search is not you have to read this article by Teodora Petkova)

One thing comes to mind straight away when looking at the statement above: Searcher intent and relevant results in one sentence mean only one thing. We have to know our audience. And we have to know it good.

Semantic Search brings the human element back to the search engines. So in order to satisfy the human being and the search engine at the same time we have to figure out what is that thing that is going to attract visitors to our web pages and at the same give reason to Google to show our pages in the SERP’s.

There is only one answer. Content.

I’m not going to talk about content marketing here, but I am going to talk about a common misconception when it comes to content.

Many people think that writing ‘good’ content alone is enough to succeed in the war of the SERP’s. Good content is important, but it does not make your website unique in any way. If you don’t know what your audience’s biggest problems are and if you are not giving them a solution for these problems then you just have ‘good’ content that nobody is interested in. 

Listing your qualities/products without serving your potential customer’s need gives them…just a list. Zara Altar 

So in order to satisfy the search engines at the same time as the human visitors David Amerland is giving us 3 points:

  • Context
  • Relevance
  • Clarity

Which gives us a new definition of Semantic Search from a business point of view:

Semantic Search is taking into account the contextual relevance of your content in order to deliver highly personalised answer to the searcher’s query.

Notice I’ve used the word “query” which according to Google have the following definition: a question, especially one expressing doubt. Semantic search is seeking to bring clarity to the web. I can predict that even if all current Google algorithms change in the future the semantic notion will stay the same. So if you want to bulletproof your future marketing efforts you should start seeking clarity to your content and brand voice.

Now let’s go back to the hangout and the wisdom coming from this online chat:

Semantic Search/Web is here to stay.

“Everything you do from now on “have to have meaning“.  There are no shortcuts and there are no longer any easy wins in term of rankings. Google now requires proof of concept before anything works for you.
So if you say that you are absolutely the best in something and your website should be there, Google now needs additional proof beyond you saying this on your website.

And the way to do that is  trough “relational connections” across the web.  So if your website is actually really good at something and your business is great and you are winning in terms of quality and customer experience than is highly unlikely that your website is in the dark side and it’s never mentioned anywhere on the web apart of your own website.” – David Amerland