Semantic Search: More Knowledge, More Power
One of the latest trends to come out of Google is semantic search. Unlike past search query results, semantic search takes a more comprehensive sample of knowledge. Semantic search aims to answer questions with more information, opening a simple search into an exploration for further insight. To do this, Google will look at more than just keywords and links. The search engine will look at an accumulation of information to evaluate your website more comprehensively. This type of search will draw visitors farther into the web, bringing more knowledge to their fingertips than they originally knew how to ask for.
This new form of search creates new challenges in the world of internet search, and means a few changes in content strategy on your practice’s website.
Semantic Search Changes the Way Google Reads your Website
Semantic search changes the content on the internet from a conglomeration of webpages to a massive base of knowledge. Instead of functioning separately or even against each other for the best placement, websites are all contributing to one larger knowledge base that Google can use to answer every search most efficiently.
The pages that have the most authoritative knowledge and contribute the best information to the knowledge base are going to have the best chance at having top placement. This means that in order for your website to get the attention it deserves, the focus needs to be on quality content that makes your website an authority on the subject being asked about.
Adding more pages that build your website as an authority on a given subject is going to help you place higher in semantic search. This can be done by adding comprehensive guides about the procedures that you offer, and by adding more targeted articles or blogs to your website every month.
The Knowledge Graph
Google compiles all of the information at its grasp into one large knowledge graph. Instead of reading a query and directing the visitor directly to you for the information he or she needs, Google will attempt to read the information your website provides and offer a brief answer of its own.
The knowledge graph is no longer reading assortments of letters that make words, but is now able to relate words to their greater real world meaning. A Lap Band is no longer a keyword, it is a sought after tool that helps people lose weight when other diet methods have failed. With the knowledge graph, Google has become a bit more human.
Google is interested in “Aspects” of Knowledge
Google is transitioning from a focus on independent keywords to one that incorporates different “aspects” of information. Google will evaluate the type of information that the searcher is most likely interested in by using past queries, and then will match their results based on the bits of information that websites are delivering.
Different aspects of information that will contribute to query results include location, news and upcoming events. This is where staying up to date on your calendar of events and having your office locations in Google maps is beneficial. By having more aspects of information feeding the search engines you will increase your odds of obtaining premier placement.
Semantic Search with Instant Answers
If you think of the internet as a metaphorical web, then Google is the spider, claiming and consuming any of the information that flies into its sticky threads.
When you publish information online, Google takes it for its own. In return, Google will direct potential clients to your practice when they ask about the information you are offering. While the goal of semantic search is to provide more reliable information to users who are asking for it, Google also recognizes that a lot of searchers are looking for instant information, so in order to accommodate those users Google is putting instant answers above certain queries.
Questions about birth dates, final scores of popular sporting events and other simple pieces of information are extracted from reliable sources on the web and presented by Google above the search results. The instant answers are most likely not going to affect users who are searching for medical information, but it is still a new aspect of semantic search that you should be aware of.
Even with instant answers, the web pages that are deemed most reliable and relevant are going to appear just underneath the answer Google provides. If the searcher is looking for more in depth information, then you want your website to be part of that base of knowledge so that you are the first place Google directs its visitors to.
What is the best way that your medical practice can stay at the top of Google’s search results with the new semantic search?
Know this: Google is getting smarter. It is not a good idea to try to trick Google by building links from unreliable sources. By focusing on quality content and providing honest and earnest information to answer the questions being asked, your website will get all of the attention it deserves.