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
Marketers, SEO experts and businesses not yet on-board with retooling their approaches to the new world of semantic technology and semantic search need to seriously rethink their positions.
Why? Check out the Q&A below with writer, speaker and analyst David Amerland, author of the new book Google™ Semantic Search: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Techniques That Get Your Company More Traffic, Increase Brand Impact, and Amplify Your Online Presence. Amerland also will be participating in this session, The Semantic Web Has Killed SEO; Long Live SEO, at the Semantic Technology & Business conference in New York City in October.
Semantic Web Blog: What was your motivation for writing Google Semantic Search?
Amerland: After working as a chemical engineer who wrote pieces for newspapers, and in cultural and business journalism, I became a communications director for a U.K. blue chip company, and part of my role was overseeing the changes of taking a massive company from the 19th century, where it was stuck, to the 21st century. Part of that was to create a web presence. And in different capacities I’ve guided other web companies. So I have seen the things I talk about around marketing in action.
I want to demystify SEO. I hate things to be cloaked in mystique. When there’s a mystique around things you do away with everything from comparison metrics to the opportunity to have best practices. That’s really bad for business. So that’s my motivation. Just as I used to demystify science in my early days as a journalist. I’m trying to open up SEO as it is today as much as possible.
In a recent article for 4Hoteliers, Vikram Singh has offered some advice to the hotel industry about how to improve SEO, hinting at the use of Semantic Technology. Curiously, Singh never mentions schema.org or structured data markup. Here’s what he does say: “Hotel search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most debated online marketing techniques in our industry; that’s because its efficacy is hard to prove, and techniques have to constantly change to outmaneuver Google’s updates. Google maintains strict control and secrecy about how they manage and update their search engine results pages. Of course, there are guidelines posted on their Webmaster Central product, and a few utterances here and there. This leaves the floor open for some serious speculation… Cue in the SEO ‘experts.’ I am not an SEO expert, nor have I played one on TV. But I am definitely a trained SEO observer who has been in the industry for a decade, and a huge fan of web analytics and data-driven decision making.” Read more
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