Google is learning to give people search results based on assumptions. “You asked for X, but you probably really meant Y. Plus, Z would really interest you, too… ” In the most simplified terms possible, this is semantic search.
It’s still in early stages, so why should you care? Because it should shift how you are creating content. Context now matters—a lot. Google is starting to rely on your existing content to add context to your new content.
Instead of ranking for one extremely literal keyword or phrase—which has been the focus of SEO in the past—Google wants to help you rank for variations of similar search terms. It affects search engine optimization and, especially, the blogging portion of content marketing.
If you aren’t blogging, you probably aren’t giving Google enough context to work with. You might still rank, but perhaps for only a few search terms instead of dozens, maybe hundreds.
If you are a public relations professional like me, for example, then blogging about PR, media relations, media lists, social media, journalism, press releases—all the different moving parts of PR—helps Google put your content in context with a larger variety of keywords.
Be sure to use a variety of different words and tenses. Writing about PR? Don’t forget to also write about public relations, publicity, and other variations of the same word. Shuffle it around, instead of keyword saturation with “PR” repeated over and over again. Not only is it more readable, but it gives Google more to work with.
Blogging has never been more important. The easier you make it for Google to connect the dots using blog content, the better you will rank on Google and the more visibility you will earn.
Have a consumer banking client? Blog about advancements in online banking security, how to dispose of cashed checks, why online statements keep your account more secure than mailed statements, new anti-fraud and identity theft efforts, how to keep your PIN secure at the grocery store, how to withdraw large amounts of cash without putting yourself at risk for being robbed—a variety of topics related to your banking client and what their customers/prospects are interested in.
The variety will help Google connect those dots. Do not
start blogging about random topics, though; keep it focused on banking topics that interest consumers.
This is also important why blog post volume
is important. If you blog once a month, and it takes dozens of posts for Google to have enough information to create context—it will take years to rank well. Decades. The more you post, the faster Google understands your market and target audience. So blog often.
What is “often,” when it comes to blog post frequency? More than once a week. The more you post, the faster you’ll rank.
Just don’t think semantic search means Google will rank your content with zero effort on your part, just because it is improving how it connects those dots. It isn’t quite there yet, so give Google as much help as possible—but realize that things are a changin’.
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Hope that clarifies things a bit. Blog on, my friends. Blog on.
Carrie Morgan is a 20-plus year public relations veteran based in
Phoenix, specializing in digital PR. A version of this story first
appeared on the Rock The Status Quo blog.