Monday 06 February 2017

Long gone is the time when google was reading keywords on their own, here comes the time of Semantic Search.

Semantic Search is nowadays the reality. Unfortunately, old habits die hard! When browsing a few sites (obviously knowing what you are looking for) you can see remains of these old practices. Therefore, we decided to share our opinion on Semantic Search.

Semantic Search! What is it?

Semantic Search was firstly mentioned in 2013. It came as an evolution in the understanding of languages by Google search engine. The Search Engine was to become smart, understanding the language beyond the words. It would have been capable of understanding the meaning. This change shifted completely the way how SEO people worked as the work would not focus anymore on keywords but on content meaning.

In a simple way, Google understands the intent of the user rather than simply understanding the meaning of the words

Google Before

cats and dogs

Google Now

cats and dogs 2

Semantic Search, what does it do?

Semantic Search is a complex system associated with a plethora of other complex systems. It is capable of the following:

  •         Understanding the meaning of a search query
  •         Identifying the key elements once contextualised
  •         Coming up with suggestions
  •         Anticipating the next query by presenting the most requested information

Obviously, semantic search is only a system that works with other, once associated with the Knowledge Graph (2012) and the Hummingbird update (2013) you will get a more appropriate answer to your request.

New York

Illustration of the Knowledge Graph

Predictive Search

Illustration of the Predictive Search

Semantic Search, how does it work?

Semantic Search works by recognising that words can have different meaning depending on how they are used. Syntax also plays a major role in the understanding of a search query and is for that reason analysed in depth in order to make sure that the response provided by the search engine will match the intent of the request made by the user.

So why is it so important?

For Google

Google always prided itself on delivering the best results for your search query thanks to its advanced search technology. The war of the search engines is all about that, providing the best information as quickly as possible. In this commercial war, obviously Google is the leader, but some countries using non-latin scripts in their writing systems Google struggles to get the leadership (e.g.: Yandex for Cyrillic, Baidu for Mandarin Chinese).

For the user

The quicker and the most appropriate your answer, the more likely the user is to come back to use the service again. Additionally, the development of voice search makes it even more important. This is due to the fact that, the way each person expresses himself/herself is deeply linked to the cultural and educational background of the individual users. If you take a university professor and a farmer, they obviously will not communicate ideas, concepts or opinions in the same way. Therefore, aside from the conversion of the voice signal into written words (considering the complexities of local accents), the terminology employed can be very different. Once again, the semantic search comes in to help out what is happening.

For example, the terms “settee”, “couch” and “sofa” have the same meaning, however, they reveal a difference in the socio-economic class of the individual. It, therefore, needs to interpret the meaning and deliver the most accurate result for each and every single person.

For your business

So what does it mean for your business? While in the past the content of your site may have been focusing on search engines, it now needs to focus on your customer. Why so? Compelling content addresses directly the personality of your customer.

To conclude

Semantic Search, is an incredible tool in Google and you should definitely take advantage of it, if you do not how to we can help you with it just check our Search Engine Optimisation page.

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