Semantic SEO

A New Take on SEO: String Entity Optimization

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

What You Need to Know About Google Authorship & Semantic Search

Brian Jensen of Business2Community reports, “In the summer of 2011, Google announced the support of authorship markup as a way for authors to verify content they’ve created and become authorities on specific topics. Early adopters quickly realized the benefits of the new tag and implementation has continued to grow since its release. Google says authorship is here to help searchers find great content which will improve the searcher experience. Recently, Google officially announced updating its algorithm to look at signals including authorship markup to help it provide searchers with in-depth articles in their results. To listen to what Matt Cutts has to say regarding how Google will evaluate the use of authorship markup moving forward you can watch this YouTube Video.” Read more

A Chat With David Amerland: Opening Up SEO In The Age Of Semantic Search

Cover of "Google Semantic Search" by David AmerlandMarketers, 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 SearchSearch 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.

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Analysis of Brand-Related Knowledge Graph Search

Depiction of entities connected in the Google Knowledge GraphIn a recent post on the Moz.com blog, Dr. Peter J. Myers wrote about an apparent change that took place on the morning of July 19th that appears to be related to how Google processes Knowledge Graph entities. “My gut feeling is that Google has bumped up the volume on the Knowledge Graph, letting KG entries appear more frequently,” Myers posted.

The morning of July 19th was specifically identified because, Myers explained, “Overnight, the number of queries we track in the MozCast 10K beta system that show some kind of Knowledge Graph jumped from 17.8% to 26.7%, an increase of over 50%. This was not a test or a one-day fluke — here’s a graph for all of July 2013 (as of August 20th, the number has remained stable near 27%).

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Hotels, SEO, and the Semantic Web

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

The Semantic Web Benefits Local Business

David Amerland of Business2Community reports, “The web may be global but its effects are felt most acutely at a local level. While there have always been businesses that targeted a global market the bulk of business today are brick and mortar stores with a web presence or online businesses that have a local presence. Either way search that delivers global results when all you wanted to find was a pizza joint in your neighborhood is, understandably, less than satisfying. Thankfully search is changing. In the transition from Boolean search with its statistical text analysis properties to semantic search that uses ontology libraries to ascribe meaning to things Google has moved in what it famously calls “from strings to things”. The effects of the transition are noticed in two things that are part of the same phenomenon: First the fragmentation of search and second its intense personalization.” Read more

Semantic Search, Semantic Web, & Semantic SEO Defined

Amanda DiSilvestro of Search Engine Journal recently wrote, “Small businesses have been hearing a lot lately about the semantic web, and how that of course comes with semantic search, which then has to come with semantic SEO. So to make a long story short, if you don’t understand what the term ‘semantic’ means in these contexts, you’ve got some work to do. Fortunately, understanding semantics in relation to the web is actually quite simple, and for many these is already a part of your daily routine. It isn’t a new concept, just one that has recently gained some traction. Being able to understand how these terms differ is important because it can help you better understand how search works and how you can make sure your information is getting in front of a relevant audience.” Read DiSilvestro’s definitions here. Read more

Google Debuts Data Highlighter: An Easy Way Into Structured Data

Structured data makes the Web go around. Search engines love it when webmasters mark up page content. Google’s rich snippets, for instance, leverages sites’ use of microdata (preferred format), or RDFa or microformats: It makes it possible to highlight in a few lines specific types of content in search results, to give users some insight about what’s on the page and its relationship to their queries – prep time for a recipe, for instance.

Plenty of web sites generated from structured data haven’t added HTML markup to their pages, though, so they aren’t getting the benefits that come with search engines understanding the information on those web pages.

Maybe that will change, now that Google has introduced Data Highlighter, an easy way to tell its search engine about the structured data behind their web pages. A video posted by Google product management director Jack Menzel gives the snapshot: “Data Highlighter is a point- and-click tool that allows any webmaster to show Google the patterns of structured data on their pages without modifying the pages themselves,” he says.

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New “Linked Data” Book Launches – 50% Discount for Our Readers

Cover of Linked Data book by David Wood et alThis week, Manning Publications is launching the book “Linked Data,” by David Wood, Marsha Zaidman, Luke Ruth, and Michael Hausenblas.

As part of that launch, Manning is offering a one-day 50% discount for readers of SemanticWeb.com. The discount applies to all versions of “Linked Data”: eBook, print books, and Manning’s “MEAP” books (more on MEAP below). To claim the discount, use coupon code “12linksw” when ordering.

This offer expires at 11:59 pm (US EST) on December 6, so if you’re interested, act fast!

About the Book (description by David Wood):

The flexible, unstructured nature of the Web is being extended to act as a global database of structured data. Linked Data is a standards-driven model for representing structured data on the Web that gives developers, publishers, and information architects a consistent, predictable way to publish, merge and consume data. The Linked Data model offers the potential to standardize Web data in the same way that SQL standardized large-scale commercial databases. Linked Data has been adopted by many well-known institutions, including Google, Facebook, IBM, Oracle and government agencies, as well as popular Open Source projects such as Drupal.

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GoodRelations Fully Integrated with Schema.org

Schema.org and GoodRelations logosSchema.org has announced that GoodRelations is now fully integrated into the markup vocabulary backed by Google, Yahoo!, Bing/Microsoft, and Yandex (read our past schema.org coverage). GoodRelations is the e-commerce vocabulary that has been developed and maintained by Martin Hepp since 2002 (previous coverage).

In the official announcement, R.V. Guha (Google) says, “Effective immediately, the GoodRelations vocabulary (http://purl.org/goodrelations/) is directly available from within the schema.org site for use with both HTML5 Microdata and RDFa. Webmasters of e-commerce sites can use all GoodRelations types and properties directly from the schema.org namespace to expose more granular information for search engines and other clients, including delivery charges, quantity discounts, and product features.”

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