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What holds true for Realtors also works for other professionals. 
How Semantic Search Will Be A Game Changer For Real Estate

Semantic search is the way the web is headed. Trust and credibility will be bigger factors in delivering search results.

While the article discusses a Realtor as an example of how semantic search works, it applies to all types of businesses!

The article was written by SEO expert +David Amerland who many of you know well from Google Plus. Take a look you will not want to miss this one!

#realestate #seo #semanticweb  
Bill Gassett's profile photoLeland LeCuyer's profile photoDavid Amerland's profile photoRay Hiltz's profile photo
+David Amerland your article was really well written and easy to understand for the laymen. I am glad we were able to collaborate on this!
+Bill Gassett You are most welcome. You're doing  some really important work on G+ in that regard. I was glad to be able to help out. 
I am certainly trying to stay ahead of the curve by following your words of wisdom:)
Well said, +David Amerland. It seems you are pointing towards SEO 3.0, which is to build your case online for what you are best at and why you are best at it.

Of course anyone can claim that they're the best. The real key is getting other people to announce that you were helpful to them. Self-promotion is discounted unless substantiated by satisfied customers or collaborators.
Agree +David Amerland +Leland LeCuyer +Bill Gassett that future is about what THEY think of us (and I mean the royal THEY, the sentient mob). I think the dynamite is already in the mountain with Google's authorship tagging. Once content is assigned to non-anonymous authors and the trace authors like David and my friends +Mark Traphagen and +Phil Buckley create can be tagged and aggregated then SEO as we've known it is all but over. 

You can see Google's move. Once sentiment can inform its voting booth telling Google what links to disavow and which really deserve special KLOUT-like scores the fledgling democracy of spam is gone. I STRONGLY believe these moves (toward semantic web and tagged content) make CONTENT and CONTENT CREATORS the future of Internet marketing realizing a dream Google has been consistent in sharing, reinforcing and enforcing. 

We are slouching toward a time when those interested in Rush Limbaugh will see a web of related material just as those interested in Vermeer will see art everywhere. The danger in tightening the web around our close connections is study after study shows we LEARN more from our loose connections. Our innermost circle, our "like me" circle", tends to be self reinforcing. 

As we move away from our core we get challenged more and so are capable of expanding and changing our thinking. As sentiment feeds a predictive web the real trick may be making the web do what it does so well now. Now we attempt to drink from a firehouse. Inside of that river is "like me" and "very unlike me" content. As the dynamic web tightens around us finding ways to wobble the model and disrupt the self-reinforcing cycles may become harder and harder. 

Another way to read that last paragraph is HUBS GET BIGGER and more POWERFUL because what Barabasi calls "the rich get richer" in his excellent book LINKED is now happening over and over and faster and faster. Google, like all corporations, seeks EFFICIENCY not democracy. Efficiency helps the bottom line even as it hurts exploration. AND there is the rub. 

Google is walking a tightrope between accomplishing its brand's ideal, prompting exploration, and its need for efficiency of capital and other resources. Entropy is in our "rebel elite" favor. Each time a TITAN seeks to gather the sand into an organized pile, a pile with HIGH entropy, natural forces slaughter the organization and introduce a wobble. The current wobble is MOBILE. 

Mobile has bee a WRECKING BALL to any TITAN's ability to organize their sand (lol). Combine mobile with its sister social and you have a mixture so combustible that no one understands it. While I LOVE Google's rush toward a semantic web there are elements of "gold fever" in their search. Google believes semantic + Panda (the beginning of a predictive web) + social + float = infinite add dollars. 

I look at it differently. I add up those elements to equal WHO KNOWS (lol). Barabasi's other book Bursts informs us that we are not as unique as we think, thus creating the base of the "predictive web" argument. We may be as predictable as Asimov's famous "psychohistory" where our individual futures may not be known but our collective one is modeled and sure, but I doubt it :). 

Another favorite author, Harvard's Christensen, believes in DISRUPTION as do I. Mind you I wouldn't mind an intelligent sentiment tool and I applaud Google's move to give credit where it is due (to authors and content creators) and solve the riddle created by their "links are good" truth that is now so limited by the sad truth that only some links are "good". Once Google can solve the "good" vs "bad" link problem we enter the realm of another interesting David Amerland discussion - what is or should be the nature of our value systems? 

Google is wrestling the pig David has been wondering about to the ground once the combined riddles of speed, authorship and sentiment (good vs bad) is solved. If you are selling or marketing anything, real estate included, your ears should have just perked up. Bill is the archetype of the real estate professional of the future. He is content curator and creator, connected and helping even as his connections help. 

Money for nothing and chicks for free days are GONE and DEAD in the not too distant future. What will entropy's wind bring? Not sure, but our ability to pierce the veil of any BS is bound to increase even as the amount of BS decreases (one hopes :). BS can only thrive when some deflection and screening is possible. Once we are as transparent as the shim Isaac Mizrahi used in Unzipped (noted here: ) life and value systems will change once again. 

If that idea ends a long rant with a cliche I apologize, but Bill's, David's, Phil's and Mark's approach to provide SERVICE first and worry about everything else second or even a distant third feels like the winning horse. Even if I am WRONG and have bet my life, love and career on the wrong horse it doesn't matter. Time is so precious and valuable we only have time to ride a few horses. Riding this "help first" horse feels right and sometimes that is all we have. 

Have I made BAD CHOICES when something "feels right"? Sure, but Schwartz taught me to spend time LIVING my choices (in Paradox of Choice) not MAKING THEM. So I will ride Help First knowing my friends are riding with me. In the end "friends riding with me" is what is important because money gets spent or is destroyed by time, fame is crack for the ego but fleeting and even LOVE can take strange turns. 

As Henry V said, "He who bleeds with me this day is my brother,". I am surrounded by brothers and sisters who HELP FIRST and worry about everything else a distant second or third. If those riding "SUCKERS BET" win in the end then I bet the wrong horse, but oh what good company :).  
+Martin W. Smith I think you may have just written another blog post here LOL:) I appreciate your commentary as you always have something great to add to the conversation.
Yeah sorry about the length, got on a roll. I can cut it down if you want and move it to one of my blogs. Let me know. Marty 
+Martin W. Smith Don't you dare! I just finished pointing out to a friend, remotely, how easy it is to have an enriching conversation on the G+ environment, using your excellent reply as an example. :) 
LOL, no worries +David Amerland . Hope Bill wants to keep it :). Didn't mean to monopolize, but figured the "expand" link meant only those who cared would go there anyway. Bill is right that I should have blogged it (and will). 
I have a confession to make, +David Amerland, which is particularly embarrassing considering my profession of being a philosopher. But I really don't understand what you mean by the word semantic in regards to search engines. Our month long "saber dance" around "absolute evil" ( hinged upon a semantic difference regarding the word "absolute." If I understood you correctly, you employed the term to mean "very, very, very." I, in turn, understood it in the more precise philosophical sense of "unequivocally invariant." Together we were able to tease out a lot of clarification, without ever reaching (or hoping to reach) a definitive answer. In the end we both ended up back where we started yet, somehow, enriched by the dance.

But it seems you mean something quite different when speaking about Google search. It appears you are indicating the standing you and your content have been given in the realm of social networks. This is more than, say, the number of followers you have on Facebook or how many people have circled you on G+; more than the numbers of Likes or +1s a post has received. It seems to a measure of how often people reply to your posts and the tenor of those replies, and the perceived authority of the responders.

This, it seems to me, is different than semantics, having more to do with reputation and engagement than meaning.

Let me give you a concrete example. Just this morning I needed to get my car's exhaust system repaired to pass the annual state inspection. I could have gone to Angie's List or searched Google for the best local muffler repair shop. Or I could have done the sensible thing and asked my wife. I did the sensible thing, got the tailpipe repaired, and saved a bundle.

This worked because (A) I trust +Rhonda LeCuyer's judgment and (B) she has the relevant knowledge. And it is this mixture of trust and knowledge that Google and Facebook are attempting to harness algorithmically.

But, as I see it, this is something different than semantics. Semantics involves what Wikipedia refers to as "disambiguation": parsing through the ambiguities that lurk in natural language that people resolve automatically through context. By muffler do I mean an automobile part or a clothing accessory? Do I mean a physical object or a passage in a book?


Regardless of what David means by the word "semantic" — or my blockheaded inability to understand him — the thrust of what David is saying here seems vitally important to people who want their website to be discoverable through Google search. The old days of black hat SEO are long gone. What is emerging is a web of trusted relationships. And the cultivation of this web is the future of SEO — what I refer to as SEO 3.0.

My take is somewhat more optimistic than what +Martin W. Smith wrote here. Certainly there will be disruption. But that doesn't mean that there will not be clear ways to "win" at the SEO "game." It's just that keywords and Likes and +1s will be deprecated in favor of social reputation. And, all in all, this will be a more accurate proxy for credibility than is currently is on offer from Google or anyone else. This can be "gamed" but doing so will be far more difficult. In the end actually being trustworthy will be less expensive and far less difficult than pulling off a con job.

I do agree with Marty's "HELP FIRST" strategy, not so much as a strategy as a WAY OF BEING. In a networked environment being open and helpful goes a long, long way. Doing so reaps benefits regardless of whatever notice it may — or may not — receive.
+Leland LeCuyer The Wikipedia definition is pretty accurate and the meaning of "semantic" harks back to ancient Greek for "meaning" or "importance" if we take it into modern Greek with some disambiguation of importance being due to clear meaning, :) 

Semantic search is just that. A Big Data 'problem' that creaks and groans under the four vectors that drive it: Volume, Velocity, Variety and Veracity. Combine these four in any combination and you get a myriad possible outcomes each of which, to work, has to be trustworthy and, ultimately' true in terms of verifiable sources. 

Trust and Reputation are key here Leyland. Your take, philosophical or otherwise, is pretty close to the mark. 
Do you have a release date for your book, David? And do you know whether it will be available on the Google Play Bookstore?
+Leland LeCuyer They are completing pagination by the 15th of this month and then it goes to print which means release is imminent after that. The paperback will come out first, I suspect but Pearson has a strong digital books arm so Google Play is on the cards. 
Best of luck on the release. It looks like you are on the cutting edge with this book, so much so that by defining the problem ahead of the architects you will play no insignificant part in shaping what does get implemented. I'll bet that more than a few Google engineers are anxiously waiting to study your book for clues how best to procede.
+Leland LeCuyer Thank you. I spent seemingly endless months battling with academic research that itself pushes the envelope, then I had to make everything make sense at layman level. At times it felt that what I really needed was a good lobotomy :) 
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