What is Google Semantic Search?
Google is constantly improving its search algorithm to provide users with increasingly relevant results and semantic search is just one of these improvements. The way humans understand the links and associations between ‘things’ is often called a semantic sphere. Google Semantic Search is the incorporation of this concept into the Google search algorithm – when someone searches for ‘thing A’ Google knows it’s also linked with ‘thing B’ and adjusts the search results appropriately.
This particular element of the search engine algorithm is linked closely with conversational search queries and Google’s knowledge graph.
Example of Google Semantic Search
The example below shows a search query for the term ‘dog food’. I’m quite happy to see that my search has returned quite a few good results from brands and retailers I’m familiar with – as we would expect.
To spot the example of Google Semantic Search you just need to take a closer look at how Google has highlighted the words in the results. For many years Google has highlighted in bold words which are an exact match to your search query. However, in this instance, not only has Google highlighted the words ‘dog’ and ‘food’, as we’d normally see, but also the word ‘pet’.
Google understands the semantic link between the words ‘dog’ and ‘pet’.
By understanding that the word ‘dog’ is intrinsically linked with ‘pet’ helps the search engine provide increasingly relevant results. This relationship between words goes much deeper than merely a word simply being a synonym of another. ‘Pet’ is not a synonym for ‘dog’. Google understands that we commonly keep dogs as pets. So, if I’m looking for dog food, I want to see results for the best pet food suppliers on the internet. By understanding the relationship between these words has helped Google provide users with better, more reliable results and less pages that have clearly been over optimised for the sake of SEO.
Please let me know of any other interesting examples of Google Semantic Search in a comment below!