The Semantic Web and You

There's no shortage of new buzzwords when it comes to online marketing.  One of the latest making the rounds is "semantic". It usually falls into the phrases "semantic web" or "semantic search".  What is the semantic web and how does if differ from semantic search? What does they mean for SEO and marketing online?  Let’s find out!

What is the semantic web & semantic search?

Basically, the semantic web is the transition from using search terms to actually being able to find what you are looking for. It moves beyond the obvious to understanding what users are looking for when they are searching — the intent of the search.

Technically the semantic web is a set of standards for classifying data so that it can be used across boundaries such as platform, enterprise or community. It helps the computers that run the web classify data in a way that humans are able to more easily understand.  In the early days of the web, searching for information relied upon the user structuring the search in the best possible way so that the search engines could understand what the user was looking for. Thanks to the semantic web now users are able to search for items using real phrases and receive more personalized results based upon data relevant to them.

Does this change my site's search engine ranking?

If you are already marketing to people, and not simply trying to get the attention of search bots, then probably not you should not feel any impact. However, if you are simply rely heavily on keywords, you will probably continue to experience a decline in rankings. Semantic search helps people find content that meets their needs — to answer their questions in a genuinely useful way.

So I don't need to worry about SEO anymore, right?

Nope! SEO isn't going anywhere, it just changes. SEO rules and requirements may change frequently, but it's still an important aspect of your website and your marketing. Semantic search will play a role in your SEO when it comes to the importance of long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are the search phrases (or in some cases, sentences) that users are searching for. For example: "How do you fix a flat tire?" If you sell tires or offer car maintenance information, you may already have an article detailing how you change a flat tire. Thanks to semantic search, your article is more likely to be near the top of the results for that query. It gives you more targeted traffic based on the content you have written and the queries users are looking for.

Semantic search is now an important part of SEO for all websites as well as search engine users. Users can expect more quality links that meet the true nature of their queries and websites should expect an influx of users looking specifically for their content. Semantic search makes writing quality content that is written specifically for your target audience more important than ever. Simply stuffing keywords into content isn’t good enough anymore. In fact, it will do more harm than good! Keep creating that quality content and you'll keep driving genuine and highly engaged traffic to your site!