Barbara Starr of Search Engine Land recently observed that, “Search is changing – and it’s changing faster than ever. Increasingly, we are seeing organic elements in search results being displaced by displays coming from the Knowledge Graph. Yet the shift from search over documents (e.g. web pages) to search over data (e.g. Knowledge Graph) is still in its infancy. Remember Google’s mission statement: Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information to make it universally accessible and useful. The Knowledge Graph was built to help with that mission. It contains information about entities and their relationships to one another – meaning that Google is increasingly able to recognize a search query as a distinct entity rather than just a string of keywords. As we shift further away from keyword-based search and more towards entity-based search, internal data quality is becoming more imperative.”
Frederick Vallaeys of Search Engine Land recently wrote, “By late August, Product Listing campaigns for AdWords will be retired in favor of Shopping campaigns, so if you haven’t started migrating, don’t delay much longer. You can run both campaign types simultaneously, so start tweaking Shopping campaigns now so that they’ll be performing great by the time PLAs go away later this summer… Unlike with Search ads which are entirely managed in AdWords, a lot of the settings for Shopping ads are handled outside of the AdWords interface. They get their titles, images, descriptions and promotions from feeds in the Google Merchant Center. While you can use the AdWords interface to set bids, structure campaigns and set up product groups, you will need to work with your product feed if you want to have ads appear for different keywords. How to manipulate the feed depends on its size and how it is generated.” Read more
A couple of weeks back The Semantic Web Blog reported on research from SEO optimization vendor Searchmetrics about the virtues of semantic markup. Now the 2014 Content Search Marketers Survey, which recently came out from enterprise SEO platform vendor Brightedge, adds some more interesting statistics to show about what matters to optimized search.
Among them: Half of the respondents consider a page/content-based approach to driving page traffic, conversions and revenue as being much more important for SEO in 2014 than in 2013. Another 50 percent said it would be more or as important this year than last.
“The page-based approach to SEO in the world of secure search is important for 100 percent of SEOs, and 85 percent stated that it would be more or much more important for them in 2014,” the report states. “SEOs are also still focused on the business impact of the keyword (90 percent), though the shift in focus to the page leaves only 50% percent stating that measuring the business impact of the keyword will be more important in 2014.”
Jomer Gregorio of Business2Community recently shared an infographic with eight great facts and statistics about semantic SEO. He writes, “The search engine as we know it is radically changing. From a technical point of view, it is evolving from merely a ‘search’ engine into what can rather be called an ‘answer’ engine. This change is already happening right before our eyes and is slowly but surely being integrated into algorithms – practically changing how search will be done in the future. As a business owner or digital marketer, one must have a clear understanding of what constitutes semantic search and how it will affect the way SEO will operate in the near future. First and foremost would be an understanding of the definitions beginning with the basic workings of a traditional search engine.” Read more
Dave Lloyd of ClickZ.com recently wrote, “People are becoming more sophisticated in their searching, using longer queries, more precise terms, and more contextual info in their queries. Clearly, there’s exponentially more content on the Web than there was even five years ago, and this means the needle-in-a-haystack science of algorithms must become more sophisticated in finding the most effective answers for queries. The expanding use of mobile and voice technologies are also changing how we search. We’ve arrived at a place where literal matching by itself isn’t good enough. In response, we’re moving toward a new normal: semantic search. It’s an idea that’s been in the works for a long time and was described by the Web’s creator Tim Berners-Lee in 2001 but is only recently going live in a way that affects regular users. Read more
Katie McQuater of The Drum recently wrote, “As part of The Drum’s most recent Search supplement, a cross-section of experts from the search marketing industry give their predictions for the space in the year ahead.” McQuater starts with Caragh McKenna, Group Account Director of The Search Agency. McKenna states, “With the introduction of Hummingbird in September online marketers have been abuzz with conjecture on how it will affect site rankings and what it will mean as semantic search evolves to saturate organic search results. Read more
Barbara Starr of Search Engine Land reports, “Search is changing. It is now more personal, more engaging, more interactive and more predictive. SERPs no longer display just 10 blue links — they have become more useful and more visually appealing across all device types. Semantic search is at the forefront of these changes, as evidenced most recently by the launch of Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm. Beginning with user intent and interpretation of the query itself, semantic technology is used to refine the query, extract entities as answers, personalize search results, predict search queries and more — providing a more interactive, conversational or dialogue-based search result.” Read more
Where is SEO going? A panel hosted by Aaron Bradley, Internet marketing manager at InfoMine, Inc. at this week’s Semantic Technology & Business Conference in NYC took on the issue at full force. The session, featuring Bing senior product manager Duane Forrester, semantic web strategist and independent consultant Barbara H. Starr, Swellpath SEO Team Manager Mike Arnesen, and author and analyst David Amerland (see our Q&A with him here), provided some insight into why it’s an exciting time to be working in both semantic technology and search – and why that’s also a scary proposition for some in the SEO set who’ve lived by keywords and links.
On the exciting side of things, Arnesen pointed out that it was always a somewhat unnatural process to have to advise clients to craft content so that it can match to specific keywords to get traction. “Now we can tell them to just write good content, put what you need to put on the web and it will be easier find because of semantic markup and semantic search,” he said.
Benjamin Jost, CEO of TrustYou recently wrote on WebInTravel, “We are swimming in an ocean of online reviews. However, when you look at individual sites, whether it be Travelocity, Orbitz or the like, you have more of a lake of reviews, a much smaller pool. There’s a lack of content. Then you go to the larger sites, like TripAdvisor or Booking.com, where the content is more robust, but who has time to read it all?… That’s when a context problem arises; there just aren’t enough hours in the day to sort through it all or a good way to filter it. I want the pros and cons of a hotel based on travelers’ past experiences. And I would venture to bet I am not alone.” Read more
Paul Bruemmer of Search Engine Land recently wrote, “Imagine the future of SEO — a future in which you forget about using keywords or their synonyms multiple times on a page. In the future, this will be obsolete. Search engines of the future will provide users with answers to their queries by internally verifying validated data that link to trusted documents. To optimize websites for search in the future, SEOs will need to create relevant, machine-recognizable ‘entities’ on webpages that answer well-refined, focused or narrowed queries. To create these entities, SEOs will use semantic Web technology and structured data. This allows search engines to better understand the page content and thus display valid search results/answers for each query.” Read more
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