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Semantic Search – Why This is the Evolution of SEO

With recent changes to Google’s search algorithm (Panda, Penguin and now Hummingbird), the focus of SEO as we know it has changed drastically. What worked in keyword optimization and link building a few years ago could leave you in the penalty box today. However, there are certain changes, like semantic search, that have forced the traditional view of SEO to evolve to a more holistic and strategic approach. Those who combine content marketing, SEO and social influence to drive web traffic are finding search success on a broader scale.

Semantic Search - SEO

What is Semantic Search?

Semantic search is a principle that strives to improve accuracy for search engine users. Essentially, it better understands the intent behind the words searched for—instead of just processing a string of search terms. At its best, semantic search can help users find the best website to answer a question or inquiry—even if it does not contain the actual words that the user searches. At its worst, it can be inaccurate even for websites that are well put together—but simply not set up well to work with the semantic search algorithms. published a piece on semantic SEO. In this article, industry expert Tamas Doszkocs defines semantic search as, “a search or a question or an action that produces meaningful results, even when the retrieved items contain none of the query terms, or the search involves no query text at all.”


What is Semantic SEO?

Semantic SEO is an evolution of traditional SEO. For many web designers and content marketers, semantic SEO should theoretically occur naturally. Because of the very idea of semantic search, web pages that do a good job of providing information about a subject to visitors will naturally perform in semantic search because search engines are becoming smarter. Pair this with traditional SEO techniques like building a variety of backlinks and social media influence, and a page can perform well in keyword focused search and in related search results. Making use of structured data markup on a page can be a big help. Adjusting, optimizing and testing page layout can go a long way in search performance. Pages that are well organized and make it easier to identify information are, of course, easier for search engines to index.

How Can Semantic SEO Techniques Improve Your Results?

If you choose to utilize SEO to boost search results in semantic search, what are you trying to achieve? The answer may seem obvious: To improve your keyword search engine rankings. But is that really it? Ultimately, you are not simply optimizing for keyword rankings in search engine results—you want to drive traffic for related phrases in search engine results, for searches that will drive quality, action-oriented visitors to your page. Keeping this in mind, semantic search is about widening the focus of your content, and making some simple organizational layout and markup adjustments. Combine that with some traditional SEO techniques to bring in relevant traffic and visitors that engage with your content, website and brand.

Search engine algorithms constantly change and evolve each and every year. Semantic search has been talked about for many years; its adaptation, permeation and growth are certainly going to continue, as search engine algorithms get smarter. Naturally, SEO has to evolve to incorporate a broader strategic content marketing strategy as well.

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