August 16, 2013
Search in the new world of the ‘Web’ is about engaging content results in more online visitors, who are more easily converted into customers.
Sounds great, but how do you play the new ‘semantic’ game? Search and marketing were made for each other. The ability to type a search query into Google and have the exact information you were looking for delivered in microseconds is nothing less than magical. And ‘magic’, to marketers, usually means a golden opportunity to make a sale, that’s too good to pass up.
But search was too easily gamed. This led to many questionable types of search engine optimization (SEO). Businesses love shortcuts. The definition of a profit is a gain that goes beyond the cost of the effort required to make it—and search was full of sleazy, spammy shortcuts that could pay a handsome profit.
That is, until the switch to semantic search.
Semantic search enables a new phase of the Web: This is where we stop searching and start finding…information directly related in context, not just in keywords. … It uses contextual signals to understand what we really mean.
The transition into semantic search marks the shift from search results based on probability to results based on actions and an understanding of natural language. Semantic search can also be gamed, but it’s now so difficult that the shortcuts are as tedious and effort-intensive as the real thing.
In short, it’s no longer profitable to game search. This changes everything: The strongest motivation for businesses is now as it should be: to market themselves better online, not to cheat the system.
Do you want your products and services to be found online? You need to put in place content creation strategies that do more than just sell.
In the connected economy, the strongest currency is great content. It buys you eyeballs and minds. And these two power your reputation in the eyes of the search engines.
Great content works to amplify brand reach when it’s engaging, gets shared, is talked about, attracts mentions, and creates online buzz.
In the semantic Web, these ‘relational exchanges’ are more important than mere keywords. Content that creates this kind of impact carries trust, reputation and authority across the Web and back to the company where the content originated.
This leads to two direct benefits:
The company sees an increase in search rankings because it’s seen as being more credible.
In the two-degrees of separation that now mark the semantic web, the mention of your company’s products and brand is now only a friend-of-a-friend away.
Why it really matters
Mentions, recommendations and related searches are part of the mechanism that drives your brand to appear in search results.
Companies that produce engaging, sharable content also enjoy a closer relationship with their target audience. This leads to brand evangelism that also feeds the social media buzz, which in turn helps a company turn up in search.
And that’s when the magic really happens:
Great content leads to trust and reputation… which results in increased online visibility… and therefore into more online visitors… who are more ready to convert into paying customers.