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Wall Street Journal Report on Google Changes.

 
2uesday
Posts: 321
Message
on 03/16/2012

Wall Street Journal article about Google changes in the future.

I have read this and it looks interesting enough for me to return and try to work out what it might mean to me and other on-line writers.  I  thought some of the writers here might be able to make use of the information it contains. I have to admit I do not usually read The Wall Street Journal and found out about  it from a link on a forum post elsewhere.

 It seems to be about the use of a different type of search - semantic search rather than keyword results. I am not familiar with the subject but it seems to be about the way the search works to give results.

Here is a quote - 

"Keyword Search 

  • Determines the importance of websites based on the words it contains, links to those sites and dozens of other measures.
  • Also factors in the person searching, such as his location and the time of day.

Semantic Search 

  • Refers to the process of understanding the actual meaning of words.
  • Can differentiate between words with more than one meaning, such as the car brand 'Jaguar' and the animal 'jaguar.' "

I hope it is OK to use quotes like this here in the forum.

Kangaroo_Jase
Posts: 205
Message
on 03/16/2012

2uesday,

I believe after reading the Journal article that very little will happen to us as writers for our articles and posts at least within the next couple of years. The rationale behind that train of thinking is this;

Keyword search is to the point and covers exacting intent of a searcher. If I search for 'Jaguar cars' I will usually result in car dealerships and most likely the Jaguar website ( for com.au if they have a presence for their website in Australia).

Semantic search needs quite alot of understanding of intent of the 'keywords' behind a semantic search to relay back a correct search response. So searching for 'Lake Tahoe' may return results for the place and a wiki entry and even its own website if it has one. It may not know I want to know its location and how to get there.

I know the pudding is in the way I ask search (engines) to return relevant requests of my requested 'keywords' when I conduct a search. But for us writers getting the word out on our 'brand' and products and services will not change much over time.

Except it may become harder competing against local searches and highly prized products and services. Some of us just don't have the funds for PPC campaigns either.

 

As much as Google changes, with an exception like Panda, Google making changes is slow and incremental, and gives us enough time to adapt.

BrendaReeves
Posts: 845
Message
on 03/16/2012

I don't know about that Kangaroo. I once searched for "animal lovers" meaning people who love animals", and Google returned people who were into beastiality.


Brenda Reeves
humagaia
Posts: 652
Message
on 03/16/2012

Brenda, that is where semantic search will help. Semantics will take the search keyphrase and determine, for you, that you mean the former, and supply you with relevant URLs. For someone that is into bestiality, and Google knows about it, the search should return the latter results.

Both parties, you and the alternate being, will be satisfied, as the semantic connotation will have been gleaned and applied appropriately to each searcher.

I have written often that Google should dump their current strategy of links etc determining relevance, and instead concentrate on semantic search. Perhaps it has not fallen on deaf ears after all.

From an article writing standpoint, this will be a plus as you will be competing only with the pages that have the same semantic meaning as your keyword phrases, as opposed to all and sundry, just because a word of phrase could be associated to any semantic meaning, rather than the correct one. What you will need to be careful about is ensuring that your content relates semantically to the keywords you are targeting, otherwise you could confuse the algorithm and end up in the wrong pile of doo-doo.

From a searchers point of view it is a plus because they get fewer, but more closely related, pages to sift through. Relevant serps is what the changes will bring (hopefully).

The current problem of competing against highly prized keywords will be no different. Those that rank high now will still rank high then. If you want to compete against a highly competitive keyword you will better be able, especially if you can obtain the exact keyword phrase as a domain, and write content that is semantically exact to the meaning you have in mind.

What I would note is that the breadth of keywords that you can compete for will multiply by the number of semantic meanings for each, and you will be competing with less of them by dividing by the semantic meanings. A double bonus for each of us. Every article out there, except those at number 1 in the serps will likely find themselves rising up the serps. However, the number of searches for a keyword will then have little meaning unless semantics are incorporated into the algo to determine the numbers. But then the numbers were of no real use anyway, except as an indication as to which of many variations were used most often by searchers.

The insidious part of the changes is that G has amassed information about 200 million entities and is likely to present that information first on their serps, thus beating out the competition for that keyword. This will have a major impact on such as Wikipedia, and product websites (and articles). If you write about personalities, places, products, and other actuals, I am sorry but your search numbers are likely to plummet.

Now is the time to consider how semantically 'correct' your articles are, and stop writing factual articles. Google will never be able to compete with blogs that take a view on trending stories.


2uesday
Posts: 321
Message
on 03/16/2012

Thank you this is good, I add this and think that eventually I will try and work out what it really means for us in the future. When I pop back here,  I have an explanation that is much better than the one I could have reached. Thank you humagaia and Kangaroo-Jase.  

After reading your comment Brenda -  I guess for the time being we still need to be careful when searching for innocent terms that have other meanings. 

katiem2
Posts: 1044
Message
on 03/16/2012

Good information, I've always kept LSI in mind while publishing online work, keywords plus LSI rich material is important to both understand and utilize.

LSI gets you there...

 


lakeerieartists
Posts: 769
Message
on 03/16/2012

I agree with Chazz.  Katie, what is LSI?


Paula Atwell (aka lakeerieartists) is the owner of an online art gallery, Lake Erie Artists Gallery and a freelance writer
Guest
on 03/16/2012

 

humagaia: 16. Mar 2012, 08:12

From an article writing standpoint, this will be a plus as you will be competing only with the pages that have the same semantic meaning as your keyword phrases, as opposed to all and sundry, just because a word of phrase could be associated to any semantic meaning, rather than the correct one. What you will need to be careful about is ensuring that your content relates semantically to the keywords you are targeting, otherwise you could confuse the algorithm and end up in the wrong pile of doo-doo.

From a searchers point of view it is a plus because they get fewer, but more closely related, pages to sift through. Relevant serps is what the changes will bring (hopefully).

The current problem of competing against highly prized keywords will be no different. Those that rank high now will still rank high then. If you want to compete against a highly competitive keyword you will better be able, especially if you can obtain the exact keyword phrase as a domain, and write content that is semantically exact to the meaning you have in mind.

 

I think the most important thing here is "you will be competing only with the pages that have the same semantic meaning as your keyword phrases" which means that (eventually) researching the precise phrase that people search for is not going to matter.

This eliminates a large part of keyword research and destroys many software products that have built up to serve that need.  

It INCREASES the need to be clear about what you are talking about and its not clear to me right now how well Google is going to do that.  For example, I once wrote an article on physics string theory and Google gave me ads for guitar strings - that's an example of not understanding what the article was about.  Over time, however, they learned and those ads disappeared - the question is whether they disappeared because of poor response or because Google got smarter about the actual intent of the article.

I think right now they are simply aiming at the stuff like the Lake Tahoe example.  I'm sure longer term they want deeper understanding where they will realize that my article has almost no chance of being about guitars even if I used "like a guitar string" within it.

It's really a matter of AI and how smart it is going to get. Long term, it's probably good news for those who detest SEO games (count me in that group) but in the short term, color me very, very surprised if they do anything more than the Lake Tahoe stuff.

Of course I do like being surprised :)


Tony Lawrence (pcunix)
Guest
on 03/16/2012

 

lakeerieartists: 16. Mar 2012, 13:06

I agree with Chazz.  Katie, what is LSI?

Latent Semantic Indexing.   


Tony Lawrence (pcunix)
Digby_Adams
Posts: 698
Message
on 03/16/2012

I think a good way to write is clearly and very richly.

Use lots of unique adjectives and adverbs. Give lots of examples. But most importantly sound like yourself. I think over time Google will recognize individual writing styles. Unique voices will prevail. For some of us who don't like KW research, this will be the beginning of BLISS!

Kangaroo_Jase
Posts: 205
Message
on 03/16/2012

Another aspect that Google gives me the impression its heading towards is combined with semantic search - localization and personalization.

Google has localization already, this is where most people get there local search results returned for keyword search with google.com (if your in the USA). As for someone like me I get google.com.au as I am in Australia, Lissie would get google.com.nz as she is in New Zealand, etc etc. So search returns show more often than not, local results within our (national) territory.

Personalization for Google is why I believe they are attempting to steer people towards Google+. If I have a Google+ Account (which I don't currently) but if I did, and listed aspects on my profile such as the sports I am involved in or like (to watch) like Australian Rules Football, put in my profile also that I am for work involved in a trade service industry, I like Australian made wines form the Barossa Valley and I like to visit Thailand again since I have been once.

My profile may influence my search results with a more semantic result, based on those items of information on my google+ profile details. Consider If I just simply search for 'football clothing' more than likely, the results will show me Australian Rules football clothing and where I can buy it. This is based on having a google+ profile linked to my search results, so my results - are more personal.

My question would be, how do you write for that?

lakeerieartists
Posts: 769
Message
on 03/16/2012

 

pcunix: 16. Mar 2012, 13:58

 

lakeerieartists: 16. Mar 2012, 13:06

I agree with Chazz.  Katie, what is LSI?

Latent Semantic Indexing.   

Thanks.


Paula Atwell (aka lakeerieartists) is the owner of an online art gallery, Lake Erie Artists Gallery and a freelance writer
lakeerieartists
Posts: 769
Message
on 03/16/2012

 

Kangaroo_Jase: 16. Mar 2012, 17:54

Another aspect that Google gives me the impression its heading towards is combined with semantic search - localization and personalization.

Google has localization already, this is where most people get there local search results returned for keyword search with google.com (if your in the USA). As for someone like me I get google.com.au as I am in Australia, Lissie would get google.com.nz as she is in New Zealand, etc etc. So search returns show more often than not, local results within our (national) territory.

Personalization for Google is why I believe they are attempting to steer people towards Google+. If I have a Google+ Account (which I don't currently) but if I did, and listed aspects on my profile such as the sports I am involved in or like (to watch) like Australian Rules Football, put in my profile also that I am for work involved in a trade service industry, I like Australian made wines form the Barossa Valley and I like to visit Thailand again since I have been once.

My profile may influence my search results with a more semantic result, based on those items of information on my google+ profile details. Consider If I just simply search for 'football clothing' more than likely, the results will show me Australian Rules football clothing and where I can buy it. This is based on having a google+ profile linked to my search results, so my results - are more personal.

My question would be, how do you write for that?

That is one of the things that I do not like.  I do not want Google to tell me what I am looking for.  I like to search for things myself.


Paula Atwell (aka lakeerieartists) is the owner of an online art gallery, Lake Erie Artists Gallery and a freelance writer
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