semantic web

The semantic web is all about relevance

The search engines, all striving to improve the relevance and usefulness of search results are increasingly adopting semantic search technology. Microsoft bought Powerset, the semantic search engine, last year for more than $100 million and has integrated it with its new Kumo search engine designed to soon be challenging Google's search supremacy.

Google itself applied over 200 signals to try and establish the link between what is being searched for in the mind of the searcher and what they think that actually is. There's an interesting article in the New York Times that looks at the Google algorithm and some of the newer developments in identifying relevance. Semantic web related areas such as user history, perspective, topicality and themes for example.

What is the Semantic Web?

According to Wikipedia - 'The Semantic Web is an evolving extension of the World Wide Web in which the semantics of information and services on the web is defined, making it possible for the web to understand and satisfy the requests of people and machines to use the web content.'

They continue, 'Humans are capable of using the Web to carry out tasks such as finding the Finnish word for "monkey", reserving a library book, and searching for a low price for a DVD. However, a computer cannot accomplish the same tasks without human direction because web pages are designed to be read by people, not machines. The semantic web is a vision of information that is understandable by computers, so that they can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding, sharing, and combining information on the web.'

An alternative definition of the Semantic Web from

'The word semantic stands for the meaning of. The semantic of something is the meaning of something.

The Semantic Web is a web that is able to describe things in a way that computers can understand.

  • The Beatles was a popular band from Liverpool.
  • John Lennon was a member of the Beatles.
  • The record "Hey Jude" was recorded by the Beatles.

    Sentences like these can be understood by people. But how can they be understood by computers?

    Statements are built with syntax rules. The syntax of a language defines the rules for building the language statements. But how can syntax become semantic?

    This is what the Semantic Web is all about. Describing things in a way that computers applications can understand.

    The Semantic Web is not about links between web pages.

    The Semantic Web describes the relationships between things (like A is a part of B and Y is a member of Z) and the properties of things (like size, weight, age, and price)

    So what are we really talking about when we consider the semantic web and related LSI - latent semantic indexing.

    Question - Is this more pseudo-scientific SEO babble, more smoke and snakeskin oil designed to shroud SEO is expensive mystique? Or is there really something to it?

    Answer - The semantic web and LSI are both highly relevant and will become increasingly important.

    What the semantic web is essentially trying to identify is the importance of inter-related terms and expressions to reveal themes - and vice versa. Understanding this concept is important when writing a piece of web content or when creating a piece of written work (articles or press releases for example) that are be used on line and may contain links back to your site.

    Understanding this concept can lead to powerful search engine placing and grow your business.

    These days keyword stuffing web pages simply doesn't offer the best answers to the increasingly complex questions posed by the search engines.

    Now we should consider:

  • Synonyms,
  • Analogies
  • Conceptually related terms,
  • Related header, sub-header, anchor, alt and other tags
  • Folksonomy (collaborative tagging, social classification, social indexing, and social tagging) used to describe the same concept and strengthen themes
  • Topicality Which must all be deployed through modern SEO on the semantic web.

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    Author - Chris Horner