In March, Google introduced something new into their search algorithm. Their statement in part says, “we are deploying a new technology that can better understand associations and concepts related to your search.” Simply put, semantic search is now a part of Google’s search results. By definition, semantic is the meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text. Google’s changes will give results that target more queries and provide searchers expanded relevant results.
On page copy (content) is and has always been important for the Homestead webmaster but now it is even more so. The new changes allow a better use of related terms in your information as the algorithm can understand the association of terms. This makes search engine optimization (SEO) even more important for webmasters to gain good placement in searches.
The best part of Google’s improvements is how it effects longer queries…Google will be expanding the number of lines in the snippets to provide more information. The results will show the queried words in the context of the page. A search for ‘how to build a Homestead website’ is an example:
The words in bold are what Google pulled from the site to match the search. In this example it is a snippet from one of our previous blog posts.
For webmasters who have actually developed good on-page copy this should be a real benefit by presenting your information to more searchers. It will not only provide results for the specific keywords but words that closely relate to those search words. These snippets may come from anywhere on the page.
This change should encourage better writing because the search terms utilized can and will include options beyond specific keywords. Phrases that semantically ‘fit’ may also be included in the results. This should be a win win situation for both the web searcher and the thoughtful webmaster.
Homestead users should keep in mind that website design and information placement is important in regards to page copy. As more information is added to a page it is possible for a website to initially overwhelm the reader/searcher with too much information to sort through.
It is wise to keep the top portion (above the fold) simple with emphasis on the main purpose of the site. Additional information can be placed lower on the page. The use of bold type for important information helps the reader to quickly scan to find the meat of the site. Utilizing lists also helps the viewer to see at a glance what the focus of the site is. Both of these also help with the Search Engines. By constructing pages in this way the reader can quickly determine important information in the first few paragraphs. If what they see piques their interest they will continue reading/looking.
As search engines continue to refine their algorithms, on page copy becomes even more important. Webmasters will need to hone their writing skills and think beyond placing emphasis on just a few key words or phrases in order to fully benefit from searches.
Visit Google’s blog for the complete scoop on the New Improvements to Search Results
Be sure to visit us at the Homestead Connection Forum for more help and information on making your Homestead site user and search engine friendly.
Homestead user who needs some help? The Homestead Connection site offers users of the Intuit (Homestead websites) software, tutorials and examples of how to use the SiteBuilder program.