Published: 07/01/2012

Updated: 15/01/2024

Semantic Search for Marketers

Google’s standard “keyword” search provides the users with the results that are ranked according to Google’s PageRank algorithm – a well-structured relevancy system. In this case, keyword match is the only factor that Google relies on when displaying the results for the search queries. It could provide the user with great search experience if one thing was not true – identical words may have different meanings as well as the same meaning can be expressed in different words. Let’s take “mustang” word as an example. It is not enough for a search engine to provide the user with the exact information he is looking for to simply rely on the word itself as it may mean either a horse or a car – two completely different concepts.

Search engines took it into account and solved the problem by introducing semantic search what means providing the searcher with the results that are ranked according to the searcher’s intent and the contextual meaning of the query. Thus, semantic search system goes beyond simple keyword matches but considers different points such as synonyms, intent, location, context of the search, different variations of words, etc. The main objective of semantic search is to deliver the results for the entered search queries as close as possible to the results that would be given by a human.

What does it take to make semantic search work? Firstly, it is the knowledge graph. Added to Google’s search engine in 2012, the knowledge graph is a database containing more than 570m of the most searched-for queries, including around 18bn cross references. It analyzes the user’s queries and provides him with a list of results most relevant to his search intents. For instance, if a user types in “Paris restaurants” he will get a list of restaurants located in Paris with their contact information, clients’ reviews and map marks – everything that would be of an interest to a person looking for a good place to have dinner in Paris.

How can companies benefit from Google’s creations in order to become more visible in semantic search? The following are some products which are good to know for marketers aiming at improving their semantic SEO.
Google+: As opposed to the collective mind, Google+ is not a simple social network like Twitter or Facebook. As referred by Eric Schmidt, Google’s former CEO, Google+ is an identity tool the main goal of which is to collect the relationship data to assist the progress of semantic search. It is Google’s way to verify authority, power and credibility of the Google+ profile’s activity. Therefore, in order to get good rankings in semantic search make sure that you are trusted by Google. Make some great content and using Google authorship, link your posts with your personal Google+ profle via onsite tags.

Schema.org: In 2011 Google, Yahoo and Bing developed a mark-up vocabulary in order “to create and support a common set of schemas for structured data markup on web pages” for better understanding of the website content. Schema.org is a place where webmasters learn about markup for different item types and search engines get well-structured information to provide the users with better web search experience.

The following are some simple but useful tools that will also help marketers to improve the semantic search:
Ubersuggest is a free tool to look for synonyms and related ideas to your keywords. Huge database will provide you with thousands of keyword ideas listed in alphabetical order for your entered queries.

LSI keywords stands for “Latent Semantic Indexes” and also helps you to find semantically related keyword ideas by giving you an option of eliminating some words from your results.

Author: Ortwin Oberhauser
INITIATOR OF SEOLOGY & WORLD’S FIRST SEOLOGE

BSc Applied Computer Science
SEM / SEO & Conversion Optimization Geek


Founder of Oberhauser.com
Co Founder of bobdo.com International Film & Digital Solution Agency
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