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Are you ready for Semantic Search? Google is now.

Now I’ve had a chance to reflect on Google’s recent Hummingbird update, I thought you might be interested to hear how you can (re-)position your business website to take advantage of where it seems Google search is going.

Here’s the background:

What is ‘Semantic Search’?
Google people and the SEO industry have been talking up the virtues of ‘semantic search‘ for a while, but frankly it seemed to be much ado about nothing… or maybe semantic search’s time is near.  Semantic refers to ‘the meaning’ of searches rather than just focusing on ‘key words’ in your search.

We are already doing ‘semantic enquiries’
Folks are tending to ask Google questions rather than traditional searches – distilling their query into ‘key words’.  This becoming quite evident when doing keyword research; there’s a trend of searches being conversational questions of Google such as “how do I…”, “where can I” etc etc.

Google Search Voice ICONSearch by Voice
The semantic approach is further supported by Google’s Search by Voice – the little microphone in the Google search box. Try it. You might be surprised at how well it works.
Voice search suits mobile users
Voice search works really well with smart phones and tablets where typing quickly can be a pain 😉  Click on your device and ask Google your question – its easier, faster and more convenient. Did I mention Mobile devices are the fastest growing internet devices; predicted to surpass desktop use of the internet in 2016?

Apples’ Siri is an early implementation of voice search – not really reliable, but interesting anyway. I’m sure it will evolve. Siri’s use of Bing for online search might even be part of Google’s impetus to push ahead with their semantic search capability.

Hummingbird is more ‘semantic capable’
Hummingbird apparently gives Google the ability to analyse and respond to searches semantically for:

  • better quality search results
  • better voice search performance
  • better answers to searched questions

How do I take advantage of this?
Google is now ‘officially’ geared up for semantic search – what now ?
Give Google answers. As a business owner interested in attracting sales, answer the questions these people ask. To give Google and sales prospects the answers in your site, the most obvious places are:

Frequently asked Questions
This popular information structure is under-utilised, and not critically implemented.
Ensure your FAQs answer your clients most popular questions – ie the ones your clients ask the most.
Dont just make them up; test your market Listen to what your clients ask.

Don’t have a FAQ section ? Now is the time to review that!

 

Blogs

I am a huge fan of blogging as part of your SEO strategy and now even more so!
Blogs provide a great forum to ask, then answer questions yours clients ask.
Frame the question in your post’s title and introductory paragraph, then answer it in the body of the post.
Don’t forget to use Categories and Tags to reinforce your Q & A

 

Summary
Google anticipates and has geared up for question/answer based searches.
Get questions and answers into your site to capture the sales prospects asking Google those questions.

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How will Google Hummingbird impact your site’s SEO?

Google has just released a major algorithm update codenamed Hummingbird

The SEO community is typically awash in speculation on if and how this newest change will impact website ranking.
SearchLand have released this overview of Hummingbird’s potential impact

It seems to me that there will be little rank impact from this release, and that one of the outcomes was Google being smarter about processing enquiries with this recent conversational search example giving some insight