David Amerland of NetApp recently wrote for Forbes, “Search, as we know it, is dead. In the new Web, engaging content results in more online visitors, who are more easily converted into customers.Sounds great, but how do you play the new “semantic search” game?

Search and marketing were made for each other. The ability to type a search query into Google and have the exact information you were looking for delivered in microseconds is nothing less than magical. And ‘magic’, to marketers, usually means a golden opportunity to make a sale, that’s too good to pass up. But search was too easily gamed. This led to many questionable types of search engine optimization (SEO). Businesses love shortcuts. The definition of a profit is a gain that goes beyond the cost of the effort required to make it—and search was full of sleazy, spammy shortcuts that could pay a handsome profit. That is, until the switch to semantic search.”

He continues, “The transition into semantic search marks the shift from search results based on probability to results based on actions and an understanding of natural language. Semantic search can also be gamed, but it’s now so difficult that the shortcuts are as tedious and effort-intensive as the real thing. In short, it’s no longer profitable to game search.This changes everything: The strongest motivation for businesses is now as it should be: to market themselves better online, not to cheat the system. Do you want your products and services to be found online? You need to put in place content creation strategies that do more than just sell.”

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Image: Courtesy Netapp