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Semantic Search Engines Explained: Do They Affect Marketing?

There are so many amazing things search engines do that it’s difficult to list just a few right here. In such a short period of time, they have completely changed the way people navigate everyday life. Have a question? You no longer have to ask someone directly — just open up a number of devices and get to typing. Because of this, it’s likely you’ve barely stopped to think about the automatic search queries that pop up when you begin typing terms into an engine. It’s hard to think back to a time before these “predictions” existed although they have improved, shifted, and drastically changed throughout the years. And they have a name… these “predictions” are known as semantic search.     

An example of semantic search "predictions."

Semantic Search Explained 

Semantic search refers to the automatic terms/phrases that show up when you type into a search engine such as Google, and that’s just the beginning. Semantic search was put in place to increase the accuracy of your web results. That’s right — the semantic search engine you use learns from your habits to deliver the information it believes will best match what you’re looking for. While the automatic terms/phrases are all that’s been mentioned so far, that’s just one of many things semantic search does. It also…     

Makes Information More Immediate 

Semantic search engines will provide you with the information you’re searching for without you even having to click on a link. For example, depending on what you’re asking, Google will automatically bring the results to the top.   

An example of Google pulling information and delivering it at the top of the results list.

Corrects Your Mistakes  

Semantic search will also correct your typos. Did you spell something wrong? Semantic search engines will give you a suggestion based on what they’ve interpreted you to have meant. 

Provides You With Supplementary Information

Semantic search pulls related images. If you’re looking for a specific person, object, or animal, a semantic search engine will take resulting images and place them on the right-hand side of the page along with more information. 

Additional information from a search, including images.

The Introduction of Hummingbird 

In 2013, Google rolled out a new algorithm, Hummingbird, that changed the way semantic search had been operating for the previous 10 years. Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird were a series of changes that have lead to the most intelligent semantic search we’ve ever had. Many people were nervous when Hummingbird came into play, as they believed the update would render their online marketing efforts up until that point useless. So, what impact did semantic search really have on marketing?   

How Semantic Search Affected Marketing 

Did semantic search really have as big of an impact on marketing as business owners claimed? Not at all! It was rumored that SEO efforts implemented before Hummingbird would be gone because of the ways search changed, but luckily this wasn’t the case. Hummingbird enhanced Google searches and didn’t take anything away from business owners and their marketing efforts in the process. As you know, Google continues to introduce updates that add to semantic search. 

Semantic Search: Accurate and Evolving 

In summary, semantic search engines track your habits and deliver you the results they believe best align with your interests. But did you know that many of the new developments from semantic search have come from how searching and technology has evolved? 

In terms of search, what was once “best restaurant Murfreesboro” has become “What’s the best place to eat in Murfreesboro?” The trend has shifted from hitting just keywords to fleshing out our searches into comprehensive sentences. A part of this has to do with tools such as Siri and Alexa, where we’re searching in a conversational manner, literally. 

Because we’ve switched to conversational tendencies in search, engines have picked up even more on our patterns and interests. That’s why two different people can search the same thing and come up with results tailored to their individual interests, depending on the devices they are using. How intelligent do you think semantic search will become?



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