Posts Tagged ‘search engine optimization’

Semantic Tech Lends A Hand To Thanksgiving Holiday Sales

Photo courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/119886413@N05/

Photo courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/119886413@N05/

Retailers are pushing holiday shopping deals earlier and earlier each year, but for many consumers the Thanksgiving weekend still signals the official start of the gift-buying season. With that in mind, we present some thoughts on how the use of semantic technology may impact your holiday shopping this year.

  • Pinterest has gained a reputation as the go-to social network for online retailers that want to drive traffic and sales. Shoppers get an advantage, too, as more e-tailers deploy Rich Pins, a feature made available for general use late last year, for their products, using either schema.org or Open Graph. Daily updated Product Rich Pins now include extra information such as real-time pricing, availability and where to buy metatags right on the Pin itself. And, anyone who’s pinned a product of interest will get a notification when the price has dropped. OverstockTarget, and Shopify shops are just some of the sites that take advantage of the feature. Given that 75 percent of its traffic comes from mobile devices, it’s nice that a recent update to Pinterest’s iPhone mobile app – and on the way for Andoid and iPads – also makes Pins information and images bigger on small screens.

 

  • Best Buy was one of the earliest retailers to look to semantic web technologies to help out shoppers (and its business), adding meaning to product data via RDFa and leveraging ontologies such as GoodRelations, FOAF and GEO. Today, the company’s web site properties use microdata and schema.org, continually adding to shopper engagement with added data elements, such as in-stock data and store location information for products in search results, as you can see in this presentation this summer by Jay Myers, Best Buy’s Emerging Digital Platforms Product Manager, given at Search Marketing Expo.

 

  • Retailers such as Urban Decay, Crate&Barrel, Golfsmith and Kate Somerville are using Edgecase’s Adaptive Experience platform, generating user-friendly taxonomies from the data they already have to drive a better customer navigation and discovery experience. The system relies on both machine learning and human curation to let online buyers shop on their terms, using the natural language they want to employ (see our story here for more details).

 

  • Walmart at its Walmart Labs has been steadily driving semantic technology further into its customer shopping experience. Last year, for example, Walmart Labs senior director Abhishek Gattani discussed at the Semantic Technology and Business conference capabilities it’s developed such as semantic algorithms for color detection so that it can rank apparel, for instance, by the color a shopper is looking for and show him items in colors close to read when red itself is not available, as well as categorizing queries to direct people to the department that’s really most interesting to them. This year, WalMart Labs added talent from Adchemy when it acquired the company to bring further expertise in semantic search and data analytics to its team, as well as Luvocracy, an online community that enables the social shopping experience—from discovery of products recommended by people a users trusts to commerce itself. Search and product discovery is at the heart of new features its rolling out to drive the in-store experience too, via mobile apps such as Search My Store to find exactly where items on their list are located at any retail site.

What’s your favorite semantically-enhanced shopping experience? Share it with our readers below to streamline their holiday shopping!

 

Drupal Deepens Semantic Web Ties

semtechbiz-10th-125sqAmong the mainstream content management systems, you could make the case that Drupal was the first open source semantic CMS out there. At next week’s Semantic Technology and Business Conference, software engineer Stéphane Corlosquet of Acquia, which provides enterprise-level services around Drupal, and Bock & Co. principal Geoffrey Bock will discuss in this session Drupal’s role as a semantic CMS and how it can help organizations and institutions that are yearning to enrich their data with more semantics – for search engine optimization, yes, but also for more advanced use cases.

“It’s very easy to embed semantics in Drupal,” says Bock, who analyses and consults on digital strategies for content and collaboration. At its core it has the capability to manage semantic entities, and in the upcoming version 8 it takes things to a new level by including schema.org as a foundational data type. “It will become increasingly easier for developers to build and deliver semantically enriched environments,” he says, which can drive a better experience both for clients and stakeholders.

Corlosquet, who has taken a leadership role in building semantic web capabilities into Drupal’s core and maintains the RDF module in Drupal 7 and 8, explains that the closer embrace of schema.org in Drupal is of course a help when it comes to SEO and user engagement, for starters. Google uses content marked up using schema.org to power products like Rich Snippets and Google Now, too.

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Content Rules In Search Engine Optimization

contentpixA 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.”

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The Future of SEO: Panelists At SemTechBiz Weigh In

SEO is dead. Long Live SEO. A panel discussion.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.

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UPDATE: The Semantic Web Has Killed SEO. Long Live SEO.

[UPDATE: This panel has a new panelist! Mike Arnesen, SEO Team Manager of SwellPath will participate in New York.]

seo-is-dead-long-live-seoOn October 3 at the New York Semantic Technology & Business Conference (#SemTechBiz), a panel of experts will tackle the issue of how Semantic Web technologies are rapidly changing the landscape of Search Engine Optimization. The panel, titled “The Semantic Web Has Killed SEO. Long Live SEO.,” is made up of Aaron Bradley, David Amerland, Barbara Starr, Duane Forrester, and Mike Arnesen.

The session will address numerous issues at the intersection of Semantic Web and SEO. As the description reads, “From rich snippets to the Google Knowledge Graph to Bing Snapshots semantic technology has transformed the look, feel and functionality of search engines.”

Have these changes undermined the ways in which websites are optimized for search, effectively “killing” SEO? Or are tried-and-true SEO tactics still effective? And what does the future hold for SEO in a semantic world?

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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

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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Semantic Tech Checks In As The Holiday Shopping Begins

 

Photo credit: FlickR/crd!

 

With Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday behind us, and Cyber-Monday right in front of us, it is clear the holiday season is in full force. Apparently, retailers – both online and real-world – are doing pretty well as a group when it comes to sales racked up.

Reports have it that e-commerce topped the $1 billion mark for Black Friday in the U.S. for the first time this year, with Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple taking honors as the most visited online stores, according to ComScore. Consumers spent $11.2 billion at stores across the U.S. on Black Friday, said ShopperTrak, down from last year but probably impacted by more people heading out to more stores for deals that began on Thursday night. The National Retail Federation put total spending over the four-day weekend at a record $59.1 billion, up 13 percent from $52.4 billion last year.

Not surprisingly, semantic technology wants in on the shopping action. Social intelligence vendor NetBase, for instance, just launched a new online tool that analyzes the web for mentions of the 10 top retailers to show the mood of shoppers flocking to those sources. The Mood Meter, which media outlets and others can embed in their sites, ranks the 10 brands based on sentiment unearthed with the help of its natural language processing technology.  Read more

SemTech Keynotes Show The Power of the Semantic Web

The Semantic Technology & Business Conference has been underway since Sunday, with tutorials and lightning sessions catching audience interest. The conference presentations get underway today, most of them following on the heels of the opening keynotes given by Bart van Leeuwen, firefighter and architect at netage.nl; Jay Myers, web architect at Best Buy; and Steve Harris, CTO of Garlik, a part of Experian.

Best Buy, as readers of this blog know, has been diving deep into the semantic web waters under Myers’ direction for a few years now, and he shared that journey with the audience at SemTech.

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SemTechBiz’s Schema.org Panel: Which Way Will It Go?

Perhaps one of the most anticipated panels at next week’s Semantic Technology & Business Conference in San Francisco is the Wednesday morning session on Schema.org. Since the announcement of Schema.org just prior to last year’s SemTech Business Conference on the west coast, using the Schema.org shared vocabularies along with the microdata format to mark up web pages has been much debated, and created questions in the minds of webmasters and web search marketers along the lines of, “Which way should we go? Microdata or RDFa?”

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