July 08, 2024

Semantic Search for SEO: What, Why and How [Explained Everything]

By Sona Mathews

What is a Semantic search? Why is Semantic Search important for SEO?

Semantic search is an essential part of SEO. The world of SEO has evolved since 2010. Now the focus is more on satisfying user intent rather than building too many links.

Semantic Search for SEO: What, Why and How [Explained Everything]
Semantic Search for SEO: What, Why and How [Explained Everything]

The year 2024 is known for making user behavior and essential intent parts of SEO.

Search engines understand the users in a better way. With the help of algorithms, updates, and technologies, search engines have developed the programs that help them understand what user wants.

This has made SEO experts work on optimizing content for users.

You cannot just fill keywords in your content and dream of ranking it better. It is important to provide relevant, authentic, rich information with the help of keywords, words, and visual content.

Semantic searches give importance to understanding user behaviour. The latest machine learning programs are helping search engines to understand users better.

Today, I am explaining:
  • What Semantic search is?
  • Why is semantic search important?
  • How to Optimize your content for Semantic search?

What is Semantic Search?

Semantic search explains the search engines' focus on displaying the best possible results. Search engines do it by understanding queries, the internet, and relationship.

Semantic search is important to understand:
  • How are people using queries or words in different languages?
  • Understanding search queries without clear intent.
  • Understanding the relationship between words.

Google has invested a lot of money on patents for this purpose. It helps in best-displaying results for the search queries like "Top 10 tv-series of 2024." As a result, Google will display a list of sites.

In other words, semantic search understands the human language in a much better way.

Earlier, search engines algorithms were not so efficient in understanding user behavior based on queries.

But the semantic search has changed everything.

Semantic search helps search engine giants to differentiate people, places, and things.

Google quickly identify user intent based on the following factors:

  • Search History
  • Spellings
  • Location
  • Global search history

Semantic search helps Google to improve user experience by displaying relevant results.

Semantic Search History:

The Knowledge Graph:

In 2012, Google introduced The Knowledge graph to understand content more than just the number of keywords.

The Knowledge graph was the first attempt to create a path of important algorithms. It collects information and their relations.


In 2013, the Google Hummingbird update went live. It was the beginning of the semantic search.

Hummingbird uses a natural language processing approach to rank pages with meaningful content.


Google has launched Rankbrain in 2015.

Rankbrain is an online machine learning system that helps in query analysis and ranking factors.
Similar to Hummingbird, Rankbrain also focuses on user intent.

As a machine learning program, RankBrain keeps learning and analyzing the search results.


Google had introduced BERT in 2019.

The focus of BERT is to understand the conversation and user intent.

With the help of BERT, Google displays accurate results.

How Semantic Search Impact SEO World?

Rise of Voice Search:

Semantic search is needed to understand voice commands.

To optimize for the voice search, content creators must work in the to-the-point direction.

What Should You Do?

Create content that quickly answers the user queries in the beginning.

Use structured data to make search engines understand your content.

Focus more on Topics than Keywords:

Search engines focus more on topics rather than just keywords.

Content around broad topics is becoming necessary.

What you can do:

Create guides or pillar articles. Cover everything important about the topic.

The intent is the priority:

The focus of search engines is on intent targeting.

What you should do:

Grab the list of keywords and sort them by user intent.

Understand user intent first and after create content around the topic.

Technical SEO is Important:

Google algorithms cannot do everything automatically.

You must make your website according to Google guidelines to help it understand your content.

Optimization is necessary, and to optimize your content, you must focus on the following:


Keywords are Important.

Use SEO tools to find long-tail keywords.

Understand the difference between keywords and queries.

Use keywords in URL, title, body, heading tags, description, etc.

Link Building:

Earn natural links. Focus on links that add positive value to your website. Also, improve internal linking.

Structured data:

Add Schema Markup to your website.


Fix all the errors on your website.

Site Speed:

Optimize your website to improve site speed. Follow what Google says.

Site Structure:

Optimize site structure to make it easy for search engines to index your content.

User Experience:

User satisfaction is the goal of search results.

Google has improved its algorithms overtime to satisfy users.

What you can do:

Optimize website for mobile devices. Get rid of unnecessary images, JavaScript and CSS.


Focus on semantic search when creating content.

Understand how Google understands different content types.

Stop following outdated SEO practices.

Keep your content relevant for the audience. Update it time-to-time. Optimize site for better indexing.

If you can do these, then you will be on the right path to success.

You have questions? Share via comments.

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