Google's Semantic Search Technology

Google Gives Search a Refresh - WSJ.com

Powering up the Search Engine

Google is adding semantic technology to its keyword search system.

Keyword Search
  • Determines the importance of websites based on the words it contains, links to those sites and dozens of other measures.
  • Also factors in the person searching, such as his location and the time of day.
Semantic Search
  • Refers to the process of understanding the actual meaning of words.
  • Can differentiate between words with more than one meaning, such as the car brand 'Jaguar' and the animal 'jaguar.'

When people search, they aim to answer a question. They just search in the truncated version of that question. Keyword research is largely data-driven around the popularity of the terms in their question. Keyword research in semantic search will have to focus on what that person actually means when searching for that keyword.
For example: Yoga. What could people mean they search “yoga?”
  • What is yoga?
  • The different types of yoga
  • How to do different yoga positions
  • The best fit of yoga pants
  • Yoga exercise videos
The possibilities are endless. When you’re framing your content in a semantic search world, it has to be around answering the specific questions people have as it relates to that keyword. With every sentence you write, ask yourself: How does this answer the searcher’s question? You will have to focus on the natural language even if those users are still focusing on keywords.