Is semantic search a good or bad thing for your business?

If your website has just recovered from the infamous Penguin and Panda updates then you might think you’re home free but I’m sorry to tell you that the bad times might not be over because semantic search is here to stir things up. Designed to provide users with better, more relevant search results, semantic search uses artificial intelligence to try and work out exactly what kind of results the searcher is looking for based on their search stream.

As you’ve probably guessed – when it comes to search these days, semantics are now starting to play a big part. Gone are the days when Google’s robots interpreted each key word in your search string separately – they’re now starting to look at the key phrase as a whole, and most importantly trying to determine the relationships between the key words in each phrase. By looking at the semantics of each key word and the relationships between each word in the phrase, Google hope to be able to better determine the kind of results you’re actually looking to find.

But hasn’t semantic search been around for a while? Well yes and no. Search engines have been trying to get a handle on this kind of search for years (Baidu claim to be the best), but it’s only in the past few months that we’ve seen a tangible push towards semantic search with the release of Google’s Knowledge Graph in May.

While it’s great that Google’s trying to crack down on ubiquitous sites that somehow force their way to the top of the SERPs, semantic search is yet another obstacle online business owners need to try and get a handle on if they rely on Google for the majority of their site traffic. Rather than just focusing on keywords and producing content around them, online business owners need to try and work out what kind of thing searchers might be looking for around their keywords and apply this to their content strategy – this can often be easier said than done. For example, while niche phrases like “extra large cat flap” will have a limited number of meanings and content variations, the possibilities can be endless for more general phrases like “office chair”.

Of course, if online business owners truly know their customer base and industry as well as they claim to and they’ve produced a content-rich website that truly appeals to all searchers in their industry, semantic search should help to boost their traffic and site authority – on the other hand, online business owners that have a fairly one-dimensional site might want to consider revising their content strategy before semantic search well and truly takes hold.

Article by Amy at Bubble Jobs (

Like this article?

Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on email
Share via email

Other posts that might be of interest

man searching
Internet Marketing Articles

Can you find what you are looking for?

If you want to increase your sales, your business needs to make it easy to find everything. That means reviewing how your web search works. It suggests you might need to reconsider the navigation structure of your website. It might even mean you need to distribute your content away from your site and have it on a variety of different platforms.

Read More »
Empty football stadium with no supporters
Internet Psychology

How well supported are you at work?

Yesterday I was transported back in time. I haven’t discovered time travel. Instead, my mind quickly flipped back to a meeting about three years ago that involved the same group of people. I noticed how

Read More »
Man using digital technology
Internet Psychology

Are you obsessed with digital?

Being obsessed with digital could take you away from old-school technologies that do the job better. Yet, avoiding technological change can cost your business dearly. How can you get the balance right?

Read More »