Google constantly strives to create a positive user experience so users can find what they are looking for quickly. That means it’s constantly looking at the content that’s published online and determining its relevance and accuracy. 

In the early days of the internet, marketers had a field day. They generated hundreds of relevant keywords and “stuffed” them into their content and whether the content made sense grammatically or not. As a result, the page would rank well on Google. 

Well, that is not the case anymore. Now your content not only has to be relevant it also has to be grammatically correct and make sense. And it has to be in context to the keywords used and what the consumer is searching. This is where semantic search comes in. Semantic search connects the context of your content with search intent to seek out the most meaningful content for users.

What is Semantic Search?

This term refers to the process search engines employ to figure out the intent and contextual meaning of search queries in order to provide results closest to what you expected. 

All companies use SEO to climb up the search ranks at Google. Marketers have always populated the company’s blogs and website with predicted keywords to make those pages rank high on Search Engine Results Pages or SERPs. Semantic search has leveled the playing field, enabling smaller firms that lack big advertising budgets can rank higher in search.

This has also ensured that the quality of the content is high and relevant, thus revolutionizing how SEO is performed. With search engines contextualizing meanings and probing the intent behind search terms, the process has become more complex and algorithms nowadays are more complex. For instance, if you typed “WordPress vs GoDaddy” a few years ago then you’d get the two sites as search results. Now you’ll get that plus posts discussing differences and user opinions about each. All that matters is that the user should get the best results for their search terms.

How Does Semantic Search Affect SEO? 

It Requires Content to be More Thematic

Semantic search always looks at the bigger picture. This means taking a step back from literal keywords and looking at themes or topics to try and be relevant to the user. So if you are a marketer for a hypothetical communication app, called ‘TeamChat’ you know that customers are also going to search for keywords like ‘TeamChat vs Flock’ or ‘TeamChat vs Slackware. You can also include content about how communications apps have risen in prominence over the recent past or what the best features of a good communication app are. You could talk about the importance of smooth team communication and even discuss rival applications as well. The idea is to ensure your content is centered around a theme rather than a single product or topic.

Identifies and Discards Low-Quality Content 

Keyword stuffing in your blogs or on your website won’t cut it anymore. Semantic search is going to sift through your content and omit anything even remotely unnecessary.  You need to ensure that your content is not only of the highest quality but also isn’t misleading, overtly sales-y, and creates some value for the reader. For example, if you run an online sneaker store you could curate content about how to take care of white sneakers that get muddy. If in a blog post about the same you start deviating and concentrate on the leather quality of the sneakers, search engines won’t rank that particular page. 

Gives Marketers a Better Understanding of Search Intent 

Why are users surfing content related to your brand? Not all of them are product buyers. Some might be curious to learn more about your company and its principles. Others may simply be carrying out market research. This helps content curators craft their content accordingly so the consumer doesn’t get lost in a flood of unnecessary information.

The Introduction of Semantic HTML

Semantic HTML has become very popular for optimizing your site. Semantic markups refer to using markup language like HTML to provide information about each element in any document by selecting a number of markup elements and separating the markup from the visual presentation of elements present in the document. The way code is written is being revamped, so to speak.

Familiar old HTML elements like <span> and <div> do not indicate contents. Semantic tags like <article>, <footer> or <header> can give you a better idea of what these elements contain.

Increased Competition for the FEATURED SNIPPET Position

One of the most desired SERP features is position zero, or the featured snippet, and getting this position is based on semantic search. To bag this position you need to show Google that your web page provides the most direct and relevant answer to a search query. If you want to be on the top organically then you need to be on the featured snippet. To maximize your chances of landing this top spot you have to dig out the most frequently asked questions in your industry space and find out which of them is best related to the featured snippet slot. 

Search your desired keywords, then explore the article that is currently occupying the snippet spot. Comb for visuals, lists, headings, etc., and try to format your content similarly. Finally, write the text that answers direct questions and structure your sentences to read easily and naturally.

The Importance of Being a Knowledge Graph Entity

Everyone uses distinct search terms. Semantic search depends on a web of people, places, ideas, concepts, etc., and tries to establish connections between them. Because of this, becoming a Knowledge Graph Entity can be very useful. If you can convert your brand page into a Knowledge Graph Entity you may gain a place in SERP features like knowledge cards or knowledge panels. At the cost of some minimal organic traffic, you can give searchers whatever they want to know about your business from the SERP page which gives you a place of visibility and authority. 

Structured Data is the Need of the Hour

SEO-optimized content should be easy to read and have a natural flow. Clear web pages increase confidence for search engines. Structured markups help search engines grab better content. Structured data markups add annotations to information already present on web pages.


In conclusion, search engines are constantly adding semantic features so they can understand user intent better. Digital marketers and content creators will have to keep pace with constantly changing algorithms so any content can provide relevant answers to user questions.

Now it is all about topics and not about high-volume keywords. Long-tail and related keywords and quality content are very important. That is how user browsing experience will improve and ultimately people will visit your web page and blog not only to buy something but also to learn and expand their knowledge about a particular industry.

Rayomand Engineer

I am a writer based out of Kolkata, West Bengal, and I like to write on tech, politics, travel, music, environment, and wildlife amongst others. I’ve also written scripts for branded content, and also scripts for short films. I’ve been writing for more than a decade and I love it.