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What Is Semantic Search?

January 15, 2021
Table of Contents

Understanding Google’s Evolving Algorithm

When it comes to ranking on Google, a huge component of its strategy lies in semantic search. But what exactly is semantic search, and why is it relevant for a search engine? Semantic search seeks to understand user intent and provide the most accurate information possible based on contextual meaning. 

In the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms, search engines work to mirror natural conversations in order to provide the most relevant data for their searchers. A better understanding of information allows a search engine to ultimately improve their users’ search experience. 

So what is the best strategy to ensure your content is not disqualified and remains ahead of search technology? We’re sharing some key strategies to help enhance your SEO strategy using semantic search and stay on top of the evolving algorithm.

Semantic Search and SEO Strategy

In the past, a content SEO strategy was based solely on how many keywords you could incorporate into your copy. Now, Google is getting more sophisticated and looking beyond just how many keywords you can place into your content. 

Today, the key to successful keyword optimization of your content lies in your overall keyword selection and how you use them. Understanding user intent and focusing on relevant results from the search engine are key to a successful keyword search strategy.

Search intent around a keyword, for example, greatly impacts how Google ranks your site. Google’s semantic search algorithm is now able to consider the contextual meaning behind a search query/keyword, and rank the results based on these connections. Making sure the keyword’s search term aligns with the desired keyword search result is essential for semantic search.

In your own content, consider focusing on a more pointed phrase using your desired keyword to ensure that search intent is relevant, even if it has a lower search volume.

Take a Holistic Approach to The Topic

Google may have gotten smarter, but so have keyword optimization platforms. Utilizing keyword optimization tools like MarketMuse can help elevate your content within Google’s ever-changing algorithm. MarketMuse takes a holistic approach to optimize your content for semantic search. 

MarketMuse is an AI-powered content marketing tool that uses machine learning to maximize the efficiency and accuracy of your keyword planning. It uses existing data around the topic to help boost your SEO strategy. Instead of keyword stuffing your brand’s content, MarketMuse provides a semantic analysis of your content in real-time and recommends a list of related keywords, along with the frequency that each keyword should be used organically throughout the content.

Using natural language in your content will not only make your search query results rank higher, but it will also make your content better for readers. Using an organic content strategy creates polished, professional, and informative content for your brand, and Google will recognize these advanced semantic SEO practices when crawling your content, which will help to elevate your rankings in the search engine results page (SERP).

Google Places User First in Semantic Search

The reason why Google favors content that is optimized for semantic search is because it wants to serve users with content that best answers their search query. By incorporating topically-relevant terms and semantic search terms in your content, through optimization tools like Market Muse, you are putting your best foot forward for ranking amongst the competitive landscape. 

Another reason why optimizing for semantic search is important is because Google is smart and keyword stuffing is not in the best interest of the user. Keyword stuffing appears “spammy” to search engines and thus, is devalued in the eyes of Google. Therefore, the use of variant keywords and semantic phrases provides your content with SEO value without keyword stuffing.

Our Strategy

At Power Digital Marketing we know how important semantic search is to a good SEO strategy. To ensure we are creating the most relevant and impactful content for our clients, we use topic modeling and content clusters to build topical authority around a specific query or keyword. By choosing article topics that center around a specific theme, but target different searcher intent, we are able to talk to the machine learning algorithms and become a part of the Google knowledge graph around a specific topic.

By creating these content clusters, we are able to work within the semantic search framework by creating a holistic view of a topic. By targeting an array of user intent, internal linking these articles within the body of the other’s copy, and optimizing the content for the specific target keyword, we are able to build a full scope around a topic. 

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