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Semantic search and its impact on SEO

SEO has always been about keywords. However SEO has been reinvented in the modern realm of what’s known as semantic search. Semantic search is fast becoming all the rage and its reach is being felt far and wide. But what is it? Here’s a primer.



Basics of semantic search

Chances are you may have even heard about two distinct types of Google search. According to semantic search is a better means to the end of search on the Web. Semantic search has to do with meaning and context as opposed to simply keywords. You know, the semantics of what’s being discussed.

Google has updated their Hummingbird Algorithm that has revealed the search giant’s commitment to semantic search. Get informed and get on the bus or get left behind; if Google is doing it that means that in order to optimise your web search for the future you have got to know about semantic search.

Search Engine Land points out that semantic search is unique in that it considers factors like context, location, and intent when conducting search. There’s also a great deal of emphasis put on word variations, concept matching, synonyms, natural language queries, and specialised and generalised queries.

The goal of semantics is to make results relevant based on the content of a result and not just keywords. Consider semantic search like Artificial Intelligence with AI identifying matches and displaying or eliminating results based on context. This is some exciting news for sure!

For those who’ve been on the side of quality in content and relevance, semantic search should be your golden ticket to amazing semantic optimisation. You no longer need to focus simply on keywords to get your desired search results. Natural incorporation of your keywords is the order of the day. As such the keyword selection criterion is going to be altered. suggests a three-tiered approach to finding, identifying, and using the best semantic keywords.




Core keywords

Rather than using a single core or focus keyword why not use a list inclusive of server synonymous variations. It’s these variations that can make your content considered when other keywords are a part of the search.


Thematic keywords

Another thing to consider when choosing keywords is going to be the “conceptually related keywords.” If your primary keywords are “Auckland Cafe,” a thematic term could be “cafes in Auckland.”


Stem keywords

This list will include keywords that are in many search queries. Using our previous example, “best cafe in Auckland,” might be one option.

Now that you have your keywords sorted out you have to begin using only the best quality content. Making sure you’re using these semantic keywords elevates the quality of the content naturally.


High quality content

Optimisation around your keywords is as easy as writing and including the very best content around those keywords. Google doesn’t recognise messy keyword stuffing anymore so it’s not going to be helpful to go with that plan of attack.



Semantic search is smart; so too must your content be. Relevance is the best way to tackle this semantic conundrum. Your content has got to have relevance to your business, your brand, or both! It’s also got to be relevant to the keywords you’re using and to what’s being searched for. Quality begets quality in the relevance search.


Share-worthy content

Is your content “shareable”? Google is all about elevating the best and leaving behind the rest. If your content goes viral then that’s going to be a sure fire way for Google to feature your content in search queries. Making your content share-worthy is a whole separate exercise that you should read more about.


Social media integration

Another area that needs to be addressed is social media. says that social media is a noteworthy side to the Google Hummingbird algorithm. It makes sense then that you will need to share your content on social media and keep active your social media profiles.


Quality is job #1

While this search is “new” the concept behind semantics is as old as time: If you make quality content you will get the results you desire. It’s as simple as that. Hanging onto outdated ideas of quantity over quality and stuffing keywords down search engine’s throats is no longer going to be successful. It’s time to embrace what’s present.

The key in the semantic lock is as straightforward as you’d imagine. Incorporation of organically integrated keywords will leave your readers with compelling and relevant material!


By Aaron Enright

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