Remember when you learned the alphabet? You memorized the letters in order, and undoubtedly sang a little ditty called “The Alphabet Song”.
The alphabet isn’t just for kids. It’s also a handy mnemonic device for remembering information. Harking back to my teaching days, I’ve been itching to do a post that utilizes the letters of the alphabet that highlight the various aspects of semantic search to help it stick in our heads a little better.
Some letters had many possibilities. For others I had to get a bit creative. For those letters with many applications, such as A, C, and E, I limited them to no more than 4.
In all cases I kept the descriptors brief, as the idea is to give a general overview. Think of them as bullet points. A certain amount of background knowledge is assumed, otherwise you’d be reading till the cows came home. But know that each item could be a post in itself.
Following are the first ten letters to get you started!
A is for
Authority -What you need to be in the eyes of Google and your audience if you hope to get anyone’s attention.
Audience - Building an audience is critical before you can hope to have your content noticed.
Authentic - No faking. Be genuine. Be yourself. (Or your best version of yourself. People do have to like you, after all:)
Amerland - , authority and author of Google Semantic Search , has been the great educator and communicator on this subject.
B is for
Blog - You need a platform for your content that you own and have control over. WordPress is the most popular choice.
C is for
Content creation - Google is looking for quality content to determine your authority. This could be text, images, video, etc.
Conversational and Contextual - Google search is more accurately understanding the context of a query that is phrased in conversational language.
Content marketing - This has become the primary focus of SEO efforts.
Consistent, Constant - There is no off button. Content marketing is a long term, on-going effort.
D is for
Data - As Google keeps acquiring more and more data, and learns more and more about us, semantic search will increase in accuracy.
Desktop search - Is being overtaken by mobile. Sites need to be responsive and ready.
Disruptive - Semantic search, along with social media, are huge disruptors, changing business practices and customer expectations, among a lot of other things… Everybody matters now.
E is for
Entities - Google now understands what we call entities; i.e.it knows if the words you type into a search box are a person, place or thing - not just lines of code. Hence the phrase, “from strings [of code] to things [entities]”
Engagement - Engaging with others on social media is a preliminary first step to building an audience for your content.
Expert - Be an expert or go home. A phrase coined by
(more E's:) If you want to stay in the game, you’ve got to know your stuff.
Etiquette - Learn the rules of the road on G+ and follow accepted practices of courtesy if you want people to respond to you.
F is for
First - As in “there is no first page of Google anymore.” Semantic search has also brought personalized search, which means everyone has their own version of a first page on Google.
Farmer - More advice from to be like a 'farmer'. Farmers have to always keep the big picture in mind and think long term. So do you.
G is for
Google and Google+ , natch. Google has the lion’s share of the search market. Although all of the major search engines are using semantic technology. Google is leading the charge.
Google+ was created by Google as a social layer sitting atop their giant search engine. Google can access and understand the social signals coming from G+ better than any place else. This may change at some point in the future, but it’s an advantage for now.
H is for
Hummingbird - Google’s latest algorithm which moves semantic search up a notch with improvement in such areas as conversational search and the Knowledge Graph.
Hangouts - This Google technology for live video chat and conferencing is revolutionizing communications. (More disruption.) Hangouts On Air can be broadcast live to an unlimited number of people and then automatically saved to YouTube. Hangouts, both private and public, are being used creatively in a variety of ways. They can fast-track relationship-building.
Holistic - SEO is now a holistic practice with the integration of on-site fundamentals and optimization, links that add value for the user, social media, and content marketing - interwoven with relationships based on trust, authenticity, and transparency.
Human - Forget B2B and B2C. It’s H2H now. Human to human. The web consists of real people, not just a collection of websites.
I is for
Identity - Identity is needed for trust. Businesses need to know who they are, why they’re in business, and what they're about. People (and Google) have to understand who you are before they will trust you.
Influencers - Connecting with influencers can play a big role in your trajectory on social media. Careful though. You have to provide genuine value before you’ll get noticed.
Incognito - If you perform a search without being logged into your Google account, it is called an incognito search. It’s not that Google no longer knows anything about you, but it has access to less data, and search results will be affected. Depending on your perspective and what you want to achieve, this could be viewed as preferable or not.
J is for
Jig - This is the dance that small businesses should be doing because of the opportunities afforded by semantic search. More on this in “O”.
Journey - Patient focus pays off - eventually. Building relationships, building a following, building an audience. It all takes time. It's a journey. Enjoy the ride!
To see the rest of the alphabet, here's the full post. (Aren't you tiniest bit curious to see what I came up with for X,Y, and Z?)
I hope you enjoyed this 5,000 foot view of the key ideas that have come about due to semantic search. What letters surprised you? What would you have added or taken out?
To dive deeper:
's Google Semantic Search , http://goo.gl/IjpQrJ, is the book that all business owners should keep by their bedsides.
has written frequently and authoritatively on SEO, semantic search, and Hummingbird. Two of his recent contributions… "Why Google’s New Hummingbird Is Good News for Serious Content Creators" ; http://goo.gl/tvnhAn,
"Is Link Building Dead?", http://goo.gl/D00HhF
has a unique understanding of holistic SEO: "SEO Essentials for the Proactive Small Business Owner", http://goo.gl/1YyY7e
has created an amazing Flipboard which showcases David Amerland’s work: "Understanding Semantic Search and Marketing: A digest of thoughts by David Amerland", http://goo.gl/ir54oi
skillfully weaves Google Plus with content marketing: "What is Content Marketing? And how to use Google+ to do it brilliantly!", http://goo.gl/27gGjn
, Hangout On Air, a brilliant discussion with host and guests and , "Making Disruption Work for You", http://goo.gl/8j6o4l
photo credit: geralt/pixabay
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