The introduction in Part 1 of this article was necessary for your understanding of this topic, and will have helped you realize the importance of semantic search in the grand scheme of things. Now, the question is, how to optimize your existing website for being ahead of the game in today’s semantic search era.
Getting your site ready for Semantic Search
David Amerland, SEO guru has a few tips for webmasters looking to optimize their site for the semantic search. He says “You need to establish a distinct identity on the web that will help search engines identify your relational connection with your website and then begin to assess the validity of the latter through the filter of your accrued authority and trust on the web.”
He further adds, “This is done through your Google Plus profile, mainly, and its activity across the social web. You need to have Google Authorship set up correctly and interlink all social accounts through your Google Plus profile and your site. Google maps sentiment in comments as well as personal user activity and makes a decision by ascribing a Trust Rank to a personal profile that can then impact on site rankings in search.”
You don’t need to understand the underlying programming, algorithms or the artificial intelligence models used by semantic search engines to make your site more discoverable. You just need to pay attention to creating great content. Here are a few more tips:
Remember, there are no semantic search shortcuts, but you should be quite pleased with the fact that content is worth a lot more than it was before. With semantic search and the newest Google algorithm updates, link and content farms are dead and things are becoming sweeter for the people who actually post quality content. It is now important, than ever before, to have a strong social footprint, great reader engagement and obviously high quality content.
Is your old SEO expertise obsolete?
Not really. It is imperative to incorporate the additional signals of semantic search along with the existing expertise you hold on SEO. For example, keywords within the content are still in play but now occurring naturally. However, the keyword meta-tag doesn’t matter if you try to rank for a specific topic. In fact, Google uses over 200 signals in their web search ranking and the keywords meta-tag is not one of them.
The link building process still works, but now through the Google Plus environment. Sentiment mining of links and co-citation methods augments this. The ‘old SEO’ is refined and acts as an additional signal in the semantic search world. In all, great content is a requirement for thriving in today’s online world and since Google get’s more personalized, it is important to extend your social relationships online. This increases the probability of your content being shared and given a higher authority/Trust Rank by Google itself.
Rich Snippets is a great piece of technology that complements the Authorship tag (for Google Plus users). It allows the user to have a look at a snippet, a ‘convenient summary of information’ about your site within the search results page. By following the link here, you can optimize your site for semantic search by incorporating the meta-data required to enable your website for Rich Snippet usage. Google data has shown that Rich Snippets increase CTR (Click Through Rate) and conversions.