Semantic Search: What it Means for SEO in 2017
Google SERPs are now capable of carrying on a full conversation; what does this mean for marketers? From Search Engine Watch:
“Just launching a page on a website and ‘optimizing it for SEO’ clearly isn’t going to cut it anymore.”
- With voice searches on the rise, Google’s conversational algorithm updates seem as natural as machine learning and artificial intelligence can be. Spoken queries are less complete. They often depend on the assumption of conversational predecessors. For a search engine to engage, it has to remember previous queries and understand subsequent queries in this context. Google must engage in a conversation just like a person. It can’t ask clarifying questions. That would be an inefficient conversation with the searcher repeating queries ad nauseam. We’re used to this when typing, but when spoken it’s just weird.
- The SEO strategies outlined in the article can also be applied to SEM when it comes to understanding what people mean in certain queries, i.e., their intent. Using the peanut butter example from the article, we would look at the People Also Ask area to see what Google searchers actually want to know when they query the search engine. If we were advertising healthy peanut butter, we would want to consider speaking to the protein content of our peanut butter as the data says that this is an area of interest for people searching for peanut butter. We also use this data to negate certain terms from our SEM campaigns if people searching our keyword have a different intent than our target audience.