So what exactly is Semantic Search?
It is the latest approach, designed to turn Google from an index-based model into a predictive one. In other words, the company doesn’t want to simply find the words you just typed into its search box and match them to websites anymore. It now wants to find what you intended to know. There is a dramatic shift in approach, one perfectly illustrated by the new knowledge graphs for example.
You can try it yourself: typing ‘Leonardo Da Vinci’s Birthday’ into Google will not only reveal the standard list of websites containing the requested information, but first and foremost a box containing the date in clear writing. (April 15, 1452, in case you’re wondering.) This is the perfect demonstration of Google’s understanding of what you meant to search for. The engine is clever enough to know you were looking for a date rather than the word ‘birthday’. It also guesses you are likely interested in learning more details about Leonardo Da Vinci through a short biography, picture or info on the period during which he lived and died.
Semantic Search not only manages to pull information about people, but also about ideas and concepts. Google is now becoming increasingly accurate in looking for synonyms and answering questions such as ‘How do I fix my bike’s light’ or ‘How do I bake gluten-free cakes.’ Once again, the top websites might not necessarily contain the full search string, but they will definitely give you some of the best answers to the questions.
So what does it all mean for your own website content? Well, there are a few rules, tips and tricks you can implement to please Google’s bots with your copy.