There’s a lot of debate in the SEO world about how best to optimize your website and rank higher in search results. Unfortunately, most of the discussions out there center around past algorithms and current best practices, but don’t discuss how to prepare for the future of SEO.
In this article I’ll talk about the implications of semantic search solutions for SEO and how pages display in search results. If you’re unsure of what I mean by the term, you may wish to read the article providing an overview of semantic search first.
What Semantic Search Means for the Future of SEO
This evolution of search algorithms will have a drastic impact on how SEO works.
Currently, one of the most important factors to consider for SEO purposes is to choose good keywords to work with, and implement them effectively on your site. While this is true today (and will be for some time to come) the implementation of semantic algorithms could change this.
Instead of focusing specifically on a predefined keyword set, provided pointed, niche topics may become more important. That is, if you’re currently using keywords because they’re relevant to your overall site or article objectives, then you’re setting yourself up correctly. If you’re trying to tailor your content to fit a ‘perfect’ keyword, however, you’ll likely find that your strategy is unsustainable in the long run.
The reason is that keywords are only valid insofar as they actually support the topic at hand. As we move towards a more semantic internet, the exact phrase used will be far less important than the context of that phrase.
The other aspect that will become more important is the organic attention your site gets. This could come either in the form of social media attention or attention within your niche blogosphere.
The premise here is that your articles will bear more weight to search engines if they are cited more often by other relevant content. This approach has already started with the recent devaluation of backlinks. Rather than the quantity of shares/links, the quality becomes far more important.
With semantic algorithms the search engines will get better at detecting when your content is linked or shared within the context of other relevant content. Because semantic algorithms have a better ability to ‘understand’ users, they may place more emphasis on the context of how it is shared than they are currently able to accurately measure.
What are your thoughts on how better semantic technology will change the future of SEO?