What You Need to Know About Semantic Search

Digital marketing is no longer just about putting the right keywords where they belong. It is imperative to understand the purpose and the best way to use marketing tools in a world where everyone uses the same marketing systems. Due to this, semantic search is one of the most important philosophies in digital marketing today.

Semantic Search: What is it?

Using context, search intent, and word relationships, semantic search or semantic SEO uses search engines to understand natural language, i.e. language as close to what humans naturally speak.

If you search for contextual results, a search engine usually provides relevant answers without the need to search for non-contextual keywords. So, if you type “where are the most tigers found?”, a search engine would probably provide the relevant answer. The semantic search, however, will provide results that are specific to the context of tigers, location, and number if you type “how many tigers exist and where are they most found?”

Semantic Search: Why is it Important?

A growing trend in digital marketing has resulted in a higher expectation around a better user experience, resulting in the need for what is known as ‘intent marketing’. With the rise of voice command searches, this need has become more pronounced. A search must deliver results based on the user's intent rather than a blanket of results unrelated to the topic.

The number of people using voice commands on a smart device is estimated to be over 30%. To be accurate and helpful to consumers, search engines must deliver intent-based results on the fly. For this reason, search engines are now catering to semantic searches rather than blanket searches. In order to do this, SEO companies and digital marketing firms need to understand semantic search in depth.

When using semantic search, topics are prioritized over keywords, but a combination of both achieves the best results. For example, if a consumer searches "paint," they will no longer accidentally find t-shirts with paint motifs.

In semantic SEO, you manipulate the user's intent so that a search engine displays your product or service at the top of a contextually relevant and engaging query. In addition, it lets businesses work directly with engaged consumers rather than pushing searches out to everyone in hopes of getting a high conversion rate.

In addition to improving consumer engagement, semantic search enables businesses to narrow their marketing net to only relevant products or consumers, increasing their return on investment.

Semantic Search Factors

Several factors influence and guide semantic searches. Two of the most important factors are:

  • The search intent. Search engines try to optimize user intent to provide more relevant results by analyzing why users enter a query in the search box. The intent could be to find, buy, or learn something.
  • The semantic meaning of the query. A search engine focuses on the semantics, or meaning, behind the query rather than simply the literal keywords, so it can provide results relevant to the user's context.

Other factors that guide semantic searches, as search engines continue to refine their algorithms, include:

  • Featured snippets and rich results. Google introduced the Knowledge Graph in 2012 to prioritize context and entities over keywords. The Knowledge Graph is now capable of answering most questions with rich results and displaying the same more prominently. It collects data from the public domain and uses semantic searches to decipher its meaning.
  • HummingbirdAs part of Google's Hummingbird update, Web pages are matched with queries on the basis of the meaning of the page rather than matching keywords, meaning that only pages that answer the query will appear in the results.
  • RankBrainA machine learning version of Hummingbird, this tool solves latent semantic indexing or LSI keywords. RankBrain allows the search engine to present Web pages that match the query even if they don't contain exactly the exact words, as well as learn and analyze search results. It performs the same function as Hummingbird.

How does Semantic Search Impact SEO?

How does Semantic Search Impact SEO?

  • Voice search. Voice search has largely impacted semantic search. According to data, 33% of users now use voice commands on their mobile devices. It is important to note that optimizing for voice search differs from traditional SEO. You must ensure that your content is always precise and answers queries to the point. If you are using structured data to help users understand the content and context of the page, then you can provide clear and concise answers to common queries at the top of the page. When searching for terms like clay modeling for children or types of knitting wool, the user will receive specific results based on the query. By doing so, the best matching results are displayed at the top, so the user doesn't have to struggle to find what they're looking for.
  • Search intent. You are creating content based on intent rather than keywords here, examining the common queries that bring visitors to your site. Search engines will rank higher for content that addresses the intent of these queries. A user might want to compare prices or learn about the advantages of one product over another.
  • From keywords to topics. Develop comprehensive content that users will find more useful by identifying broad topics within the niche that you occupy.
  • Technical SEO. The algorithm is constantly improving, but it is not there yet. So don't throw out all of the lessons you've learned on your site yet. Keywords will still be necessary to help the algorithm ‘learn’ about accurate and relevant search results. Boost your rankings by linking to related content.
  • User experience. A website must be both user-friendly and provide a smooth and fast experience, as well as be optimized for mobile devices.


Any good SEO company must make sure that its content is optimized for semantic search. You can stay on top of semantic SEO by applying easy-to-implement actions and structural changes.

Got questions? Visit us @ www.sirkle.com and we’re happy to help.

Thursday, January 12, 2023
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