What Is Semantic Search And Why Is It Important To SEO?

Aug 06, 2021

Semantic search has become an integral element of search engine optimisation campaigns as semantic search can be utilised to a companies advantage to rise effectually through search engine rankings.

The newer way that search engines (be it Google semantic search or Bing semantic search) use searching algorithms prioritises search intent over simply using keywords. In turn, more companies are using semantic search as an important part of their social media marketing.

There is a whole host of elements that impact a websites search engine ranking, including the likes of keyword usage, internal link implementation, the use of backlinks, but here we will be primarily looking at semantic search as a way to help SEO and e-commerce SEO services.


What Is Semantic Search?

Semantic search is a term that is applied to how a search engine can assess the context and the meaning behind a search phrase that is typed into the web.

Previously, search engines were only able to analyse the precise wording of a phrase typed into a search engine and match results based upon those exact words. However, nowadays the algorithms which compose search engines are able to analyse the semantic intent behind a phrase and use that to rank search results.

Two of the main principles behind the idea of semantic searching include the following:

The intent behind the user’s search — The intent behind a person searching for something is, quite simply, the very reason why they perform the search in the first place. The search intent may well be something such as trying to find somewhere to eat, how to purchase an item, or how to learn a new skill. Analysing the initial intent behind a user’s search means that Google, or another search engine, may provide the results which are most relevant to the user’s desires.

The semantic meaning behind the terms used in a search — Semantics is the analysis of the relationship between a word and the meaning it conveys. In regards to semantic searching, semantics refers to the relationship between the question searched, the words and phrases in that search, and the actual content found upon the internet’s various web pages. This relationship is what informs the idea of semantic search at its core.


What Is The Meaning Of A Semantic Keyword?

In terms of SEO, semantic keywords mean the meaning behind a specific phrase. In order for search engines to find you the best result, they will not only look at the specific word that you searched but also at the semantic meaning behind the keyword that you use — which may be something as simple as “chips.” Search engines will look at semantically related keywords, and then there will even be secondary related keywords that all work together to inform the best possible result for your needs.


Why Is Semantic Search So Important To You?

Before semantic searching was implemented, the system was not optimal for people using the internet. When search engines simply used keywords as the primary way of ranking search results, the system was easy to manipulate. This means that low-quality content could be quickly generated to give unfavourable rankings to certain web pages, simply by ramming content full of repeated keywords.

Before semantic searching, people would find it difficult to find the results that were actually relevant to what they wanted. Irrelevant results were a frequent issue, but semantic searching has managed to make it so that each engine have become more intuitive for locating what the searcher really wants.


How Is A Semantic Search Implemented?

A semantic search is implemented by analysing intent, context, and the overall structure of keywords in the formation of a topic. This is instead of simply searching verbatim keywords and matching them to corresponding keywords frequently used upon certain web pages. By creating algorithms that allow search engines to match searching intently through the semantic structure of sentences and queries, you are able to find results that better match what you want.


Which Algorithms Are Used For Semantic Search?

The algorithms that are used in order to allow for semantic searching have specific learning patterns. Through the likes of bounce rates, conversion rates, and various other factors which contribute to search engine rankings, these algorithms can be learnt to better understand specific queries — in turn, providing better search results.


What Does Semantic Search Mean For SEO

You are able to use semantic search algorithms in order to help your business and/or webpage to get higher up the rankings. If you want to improve your page’s organic visibility then you should look into the following methods:

Utilise topical content, not keywords: As mentioned previously, simply cramming content full of keywords is no longer the best way to improve your search engine ranking. Due to the fact that search engines now understand the intent behind phrases, you will better benefit from including content that looks at whole topics not simply content that crams keywords irrelevantly into processors. By learning how multiple keywords work together in order to form overall topics, you will reap massive rewards in your search engine ranking.

Use semantic HTML: Using semantic HTML is a great starting place when it comes to optimising your SEO strategy. In a general sense, this means using a markup language (HTML) as a way to convey information about the meaning of a document’s elements. Understanding more about semantic tags in your HTML code will massively help your SEO ranking.

Implement The Featured Snippet:  The featured snippet is one of the most coveted SEO features that you can acquire for your business. However, in order to acquire this feature, you will need to prove to Google that the content your webpage provides is a good enough answer for a searcher’s specific question. In order to acquire this, you will need to look into frequently asked questions for your webpage’s specific niche, and then work out ways to trigger the featured snippet for your specific niche.

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