2015 SEO Predictions

Semantic Search

Semantic Search is changing SEO forever.

It’s all about optimising your content and everything you do online for your customers rather than just Google, and this is a radical shift in thinking.

SEO 2015 Workout: How To Gain Weight from SEMrush

Google wants us to be more human. Words like trust, authority, personality are fashionable again.

“Identity is key” said David Amerland once.

In a way whatever you do offline to impress the people around you, now you have to incorporate in your everyday online activities. Both personal and for your company/brand.
A transition from corporate to human branding.

Is semantic search good for website owners?

I would shout loudly “Yes” and some of my main points are:

Semantic search is all about content, so writers with good knowledge of a particular subject will benefit even if they don’t know much about SEO.

Semantic search is less complex than normal indexing algorithms. People will see search results based on synonyms rather than exact keywords. Looking for “car shipping” will also give you results for “auto” and “vehicle” shipping. Think about good content rather than keyword optimization (goodbye black hat seo). Or in simple words – “write for the people, they are your clients, not the search engines”.

But what about “keywords”?

Well I am afraid Google is shifting towards more contextual search so focusing on keywords alone will be disastrous for any business. On the other hand contextual search is boosting small business web visibility immensely across the globe. Imagine a few years ago a small restaurant appearing on the first page of the search results for generic terms like “restaurant” or “pizza”.
No more injustice just because you are small business. Local businesses can rank highly for those keywords within a certain context.

Which brings me to my last but not least vital 2015 SEO point.

Local and National/International Results.

Location is the most obvious contextual feature Google uses when catering for a search query. Even if you don’t know or don’t care about semantic search you must have noticed that for certain keywords Google is displaying only local businesses. Try searching Google for the keyword “plumber”. Even if you wanted to find the meaning of this word or a job description, you are presented with local plumbers. Based on your location Google decides whether the keyword used should provide local or national results. And honestly do you want to see national results for “petrol station” or “Indian restaurant”.On the other hand do you want to see local results when looking for something like a bank account or mortgage?
Local search is boosting small/local businesses visibility so if you are small business this should be you main starting point.

Next year “expect SEO to be harder, better, faster, stronger”.

P.S. Article written as a comment to a post by David Amerland

Topic Modeling & Semantic Connectivity

Topic Modeling & Semantic Connectivity

Topic Modeling & Semantic Connectivity By Rand Fishkin .

Notice when he says “use your own mental intelligence to say, Are these terms and phrases relevant? Should they be included? Are these things that people would be looking for? Are they topically relevant?”.

So true – “use your own mental intelligence”.

For a long time I have been advising people to use a simple trick for long tail keywords, entities and their relationships to one another. Many people know this trick, yet not that many people are doing it.

First everybody knows that most of the information in Google Knowledge Graph comes from Wikipedia. Secondly it is by far the largest online keyword and entity library.

So the trick is to use the string: inurl:Wikipedia. Say you are in the “Social media marketing tips” business like Ana Hoffman. Just type Social media marketing tips inurl:Wikipedia in Google and hit the search button. An ocean of Wikipedia pages coming your way (optimized headlines I love). Have a look at the highlighted words in black, the words surrounding them and write them down. Scroll down to the related searches and have a look at the suggestions there. Write them down as well. Now click on the first Wikipedia result. Just have a look at the “Content” section main headlines. Keyword/entities heaven. No other keywords on this planet are more related to your business niche than those navigational links in a Wikipedia page and Google is ranking them high.

Scroll down to the reference section. It looks a bit messy, but don’t give up. Look properly and  you will see things like “Generation of Business Engagement” or “Social Network in marketing Opportunities”.So many of them I don’t even have enough time to mention them here. Don’t you have enough highly targeted keywords and entities relationships now?!

Before going to the last step just type “Generation of Business Engagement” in Google and hit the search button. What do you see? Four articles talking about Social Media Marketing, one of them even in fourth organic position. But wait….click on the ones that do not have Social Media Marketing keywords in the title or description. Go for the third one “The Next Generation of Business Engagement – Wiley”. I know you are smiling as the page you see is actually talking about a book called “Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation of Business Engagement“. Suddenly all the entities and their relationships in semantic search David Amerland is talking about are becoming a bit more clear to you.

Now for the final step of the trick just go to Google Keyword Planner and use all the keywords from Wikipedia to get ideas. That’s it….you are ahead of the competition. You just had to  “use your own mental intelligence”.