Your Essential Guide to Writing Content for Semantic Search


 you’re anything like me, when you first heard of “semantic search,” “semantic web,” and “entities,” you thought – not more monsters to tame! When did they think these up?

Actually, they are all part of the same  and they’ve been around a while, lurking under the bed waiting to come out of their dark corners. But now that they’re out and functioning, they’re more like the characters in  than the freak in Get to know them and you may actually like them.Bing has its version, too, although they haven’t given it a name. You can see it in use in the way Google and Bing display information to answer your queries with sidebars (Knowledge Graphs, Rich Snippets) or carousels of information you didn’t ask for but that help you learn if your search engine understood your query.

Do a search on a topic and a Knowledge Graph will display data on locations or people or organizations associated with, conferences or speeches about it, with links. Authority websites, and political news website rely on these techniques to rank their content.

Website programmers use semantic coding (RFD, RSS, OWL sound familiar?) to highlight data in text documents not yet structure for accessibility and, thus, create structured data to populate the search results to provide immediate answers. They also use this semantic language to create structured data in other data formats using predetermined codes provided at that allow for standardized use across the Web. The creation of all this “semanticized” data and the engines to access and determine its relationships is the actual Semantic Web.

  • Move beyond the single keyword model and work with long-tail keyword strings, incorporate keyword synonyms, and add links to quality pages whose association also add meaning to your content.
  • With entities or data mined from trusted sources on the Web or social media, you can take it a step further, finding ways to link to data to build even more nuance.
  • Create content that answers the questions search users are asking when they do a search!

1. Broaden your keyword reach

Plan out future content for building breadth and nuance.

  • Create a list of keyword variations to produce content about related topics. Searching those keywords, you may also find related authoritative content for linking.
  • Extend the list to include theme or concept related words or phrases. Example: If your topic is cars, a related theme might be mini-vans or if your topic is lawn care, a related concept might be lawn sprinkling or pool care.
  • Look for keywords that anticipate your readers’ next questions or needs. This is a lot like cross-marketing, only the effect is extending meaning across pages as well as leading the reader to the next logical step in your website.

2. Get your programmers involved

Your programmers should know more about the semantic Web and how to code for it.

  • Make available what data you can that both builds your authority and creates nuance for your brand.
  • You want entity extraction (pull data from existing unstructured Web documents) and enable new data with schema coding.

3. Build site authority

  • Make your pages informative, feature unique information or your unique take on existing information, link to additional data, share via social media engagement, and become a source – first to report rather than being a second or third voice.
  • Be the best at presenting information. Make quality, depth, and authenticity your hallmark.