Google's new "semantic search" might kill your website rankings

Google is really starting to piss me off.

pissed off

On the one hand Google is making my job more important and vital to busy business owners like you. And our growth is certainly beginning to reflect this demand for our services.

But I have to tell you, running around all day trying to please Google’s algorithms is like having Paris Hilton as a girlfriend; fickle, mind changing, and always throwing new stuff at me. I’m beginning to get a nervous condition. I’m calling it “Google Twitch”. Feel free to use that one.

No sooner do I have a business ranking on page one and in places with reviews coming direct from the site, when all the sudden they switch to “Google Plus Local” and wipe the whole thing out, messing up a bunch of places accounts. In the last nine months they have thrown two Panda updates at me, and one Penguin. These days I’m one part marketing guy, one part zookeeper.

And now we are starting to get ‘Semantic Search’ (rolled out May 16, 2012). What’s semantic search you say? Excuse me while I twitch for a second. Semantic Search is basically a technology that focuses on the meaning of words in order to match searches with relevant content and pieces of information.

Say what? Ok, Google is no longer just looking for exact phrase matches like “Yellow Submarine”. You won’t get pictures of yellow subs, you will most likely get tons and tons of Beatles results. Google is banking on the idea that you were really looking for the Beatles anyway.

So how is this going to affect your website rankings? Well that depends on how well you have been listening to guys like me who have been telling you there are no SEO short cuts, but rather ranking is about pages and pages of good content which are shared through social media and Google+.

Those short cut days are over, and thankfully so for companies like me who fought those slimy overnight SEO companies for your business. Good blogging folks, like flossing, is not always fun but you simply must do it and do it well.

Here are three ways you might have been affected already:

  1. Semantic search could affect your Web sites’ page hits. Using the Google database of “entities”, Google will look to provide more information and facts at the top of the search results page, in many cases reducing the need for users to visit a Web site to access such information.
  2. It could affect your Web sites’ page rank. Semantic search is not just about placing keywords in the right spots. The content on the page will have to be relevant to the search query. Google is more interested in the meaning behind the search query terms. Will the content on your page effectively answer or suit what the user is looking for?
  3. It’s also an opportunity to reach and engage with more users. The WSJ reports that one of the reasons Google is making this change is to keep users on its site. This means that there may not only be more digital real estate and inventory on which relevant ads can be placed and delivered to users, but also more of an opportunity to reach interested users with content related to what they are looking for.

The best way to think about Google is like this: Google has only one job- to sell Google ads. In order to sell more ads, they have to be the most used search engine (currently they have 66% of Market share). In order to get the most market share it has to be the product out there which mean it has to do the best job returning results for your searches.

So you have two options Mr. Business owner. You can start clicking away creating your own informative content for your customers and prospects. Or you can hire companies like mine to do it for you. Something tells me I’m going to have to start searching for more writers here at Stratosphere Studio. Hello Google…