Making best use of semantics

Posted on

A couple of months ago I wrote a blog on the topic of ‘The Power of Words’. I talked about certain words which have negative or uncertain connotations. In this blog I want to talk about semantics and the important role that it is now playing in SEO and search engine marketing.

The progression of keywords

Basically, semantics relates to the differences, and indeed similarities, in the perceived interpretations of words, sentences and phrases. Once upon a time, all search engines just responded to search engine queries based on specific words. These words were dubbed keywords, and basically they governed the world of searching the web.

Google then brought out Adwords, which allowed people to bid on specific keywords. In theory, the more you bid for certain keywords, the better your chances of directing traffic to your website. The problem was that these keywords (even long-tailed keywords) were nothing more than a sort of pigeon English. They don’t represent the way that we speak, think, or write, and this is where semantics comes into the equation.

What semantics does for us in terms of the digital media market

In terms of social media and social media marketing, semantics is the real deal. Instead of typing a keyword like digital marketing specialist, then modifying it to digital marketing specialist Chelmsford, and then maybe qualifying by typing in good digital marketing specialist in Chelmsford, you can now go straight in with, I am looking for a top digital marketing specialist in the Chelmsford area. It’s basically as you would say it in a normal conversation.

We hear all about Google algorithms, and it is these that govern the way that Google works. Google recognised the importance of understanding semantics, and the positive changes it could bring to ranking and search engine optimisation, and in 2013 they launched their new algorithm called Hummingbird. It signalled the beginning of the conversational search.

Our new, semantics-savvy landscape

The search landscape that we now have is semantics-savvy. It allows search engines to more fully provide their users with the information they are searching for. It also allows website owners to restructure their content to take advantage of the new semantic-savvy technology.

Keywords are still very important in terms of content formatting, but no longer in the same, stifled way. If you would like to have your website content restructured to incorporate the power and flexibility of semantics, contact me at Absolute Digital Media.