SearchFest 2015 Overview: “Semantic Juggernaut”

Why it’s important

In search engine optimization, you can play catch-up, or you can get ahead of the curve. Semantic search is the constantly evolving shift towards perfecting search accuracy by increasing search algorithms ability to gauge the contextual meaning of search and better understand what users are trying to do with their searches. This all centers around developing content that resonates with the end user. Understanding how to prepare for semantic search will allow you to stay ahead of the search algorithms and provide value to the people finding your website.

What it’s about

Contextual search and user experience factors are only going to increase in importance in the coming years. Search engines are getting better at qualifying content for users. In the coming years you’ll see less traction with black-hat loopholes and tricks with a greater focus on providing value for searchers. Does that mean that SEO is dead? Not quite. This course will cover how you can adapt your SEO strategy to account for semantics in search.

Who presented? And why should you trust them?

Mike Arnesen, Director of Analytics & Optimization – SwellPath

An incredibly intelligent analyst and optimization fanatic, Mike shares his passion annually at several different conferences. As a self proclaimed SEO geek, Mike loves SEO and it shows in his work. Open to connecting with just about anyone that shares his passion, you should definitely take him up on it. You can get more keen insights from Mike by following him on Twitter @Mike_Arnesen or via his blog.

Aaron Bradley, Search Engine and Digital Presence Optimization Analyst – Electronic Arts

As a major advocate for applying and improving semantic search technologies, Aaron was a natural fit for this topic. Recognized across the industry as a go-to on the topics of web analytics, conversion optimization, social media, search marketing, and advertising, Aaron has proven to excel in a broad range of digital marketing specialties. With a core skill set aimed at excelling with organic search optimization, and a passion for the semantic, we’re all ears. Want more from Aaron? Follow him on Twitter @aaranged or you take a look at his blog and content curation on his website.

What you missed from “Semantic Juggernaut”

Up first is Aaron Bradly who states there are 38367 searches done every second on Google. That is a trillion searches conducted each year. If data is going to appear in a search about you, you should make sure it is accurate. Control your data and the information about you by providing it yourself. Withholding this data only hurts you and excludes the information being linked to other information. Keeping it captive does not help your search engine visibility which is what SEO is all about. Mark up your data on your website so that search engines understand it better. It takes the guessing out of what your data means in semantic terms. Use URI’s as the name for things. Include links to other relevant URI’s. Schema provides multiples names and things to try and catalog your data. Google also recommends using the sameAs because there isn’t always a name for a certain thing. It isn’t just search engines that like the structured data and may find your data useful, social networks, content aggregators and others do as well. The Arnesen Method allows you to record the structured data, views the content as data and you can track your ROI of the semantic markup. It’s extremely fascinating and you can learn more about it from Mike Arnesen’s post on Moz. By structuring your data with semantic markup, you provide value and solve problems. Optimize for conversions where they most likely to occur rather than where you want them to occur. Figure out what is really important you and drive your content decisions when related to conversions. Search engine optimization success metrics need to follow strategy decisions. JSON Schema and Hyper Schema describes your JSON data format while Hyper Schema turns your JSON data into hyper-text. It is extremely important markup for content related SEO. Introduce markup to your developers and empower them to learn best practices. Push for professional development in these areas. Search engines are moving towards answering questions directly instead of directing traffic to websites in organic searches (think of when you search for a word and a definition shows up on top of the search results). The search engines care about their user experience and will always choose users over site owners. To read more about what Aaron Bradley had to say about semantic markup and search engine optimization with data, head over to his site. Semantic Analytics What is semantic markup? Semantic markup is the use of HTML markup like Schema to emphasize the meaning of the content on a website. Why are you implementing this semantic markup but not tracking the ROI? How do we do this? Semantic analytics. What is that? Mike Arnesen defines it as

Applying the principles of the semantic web to your analytics and data collection methodology.

With Google Tag Manager we can detect semantic markup and by using macros send the information to Google Analytics. You can read the slide deck for more information on how to set up these macros. Don’t just implement the structured data, track its performance.

More from Searchfest 2015

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Nik Dahlberg

Dedicated Father, enthusiastic marketer. Let's connect.

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Harvey Specter
Posted at 8:29 am March 10, 2015
Mike Rosenberg

Nik, thanks for attending and your recap of our Semantic Juggernaut session.

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