The quest for providing just the right information to search users has gotten more intuitive through semantic search.  The concept of semantic search has been around since 2008.  But it was Google’s Siri that shined a new light on the idea.

Semantic search is a technique used to determine the actual intent and contextual meaning for the keywords a person types into a search engine.  According to Techopedia, it works on the principles of language and is based on the context, substance and intent and concept of the search phrase.  Semantic search also incorporates location, synonyms of a term, current trends, word variations and other natural language elements as part of the search. It’s an effort to add the human element to the search game.  Semantic search uses artificial intelligence to move beyond parsing through keywords like a dictionary, which essentially is a best guess of the searchers true intent.  Instead search engines such as Google looks at the relationships between words and understands that similar sounding words can have very different meanings such as your and you’re.

The theory goes that semantic search can provide more meaningful results by providing the information the searcher intends to find even if they don’t type in those exact words.

Semantic search doesn’t change the way users search for information.  But it does change the way we do keyword research.  Currently, keyword research has been largely focused on the number of people searching on a term or a phrase.  Content was then created to ensure you supported that keyword and topic on your website.  All so that Google could determine that your content is relevant to the search terms and it would be included in the results.  In a semantic search world, keyword research has to also ask what a person intended or meant when they typed in a keyword phrase.  When they type Denver SEO, do they want a list of consultants, or a schedule of SEO conferences in the Denver area?

The goal is to make search results more meaningful and relevant.