Google’s Knowledge Graph = Semantic Search

We have seen the future of search, and its name is the Knowledge Graph.

Since March, we’ve gotten strong hints that Google was about to integrate “semantic search”. In this model, put simply, when you search for “When was Abe Lincoln born?”, you receive an answer rather than just a list of links. In a more elaborate integration, think of it as Google’s move toward a Siri-like interface where you can ask questions and receive answers without actually leaving Google’s interface. As Google says,

“This is how we’ll be able to tell if your search for “mercury” refers to the planet or the chemical element–and also how we can get you smarter answers to jump start your discovery. “

So what does this mean to average users and website owners? For users, positives include faster access to answers and, conceivably, a better overall user experience. For retailers and webmasters, it does mean traffic may go down, as Google will be keeping searchers on Google.com for “one click longer” than in the past.

What should you, as site owner, do to get out in front of this trend? First, it would be smart to focus on content production that answers the who/what/when/why/how’s around your vertical. Become an expert. Next, very specifically, make sure that any structured content you have (like tables of data, published to HTML) are error free and accessible by search engine spiders (eg no Javascript). Finally, begin to explore Schmea.org and what structured data markup can do for your website. Structured data is the future of the semantic web…

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