What is semantic search and how to use it in content production?

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If you studied communication, it is likely that the term semantics refers to college classes. Or, the Portuguese classes at school.

However, in addition to the best-known interpretation, according to which semantics is the “linguistic branch that studies the meaning of words”, the term has gained new relevance on the internet in recent years.

It is said that search engines like Google, turned semantic.

But what is semantic search ?

And what changes when it is applied to the search engines?

Should we change the way we produce content to continue ranqueando our texts?

We will answer these questions in this post!

What is semantic search

The site NXTFactor gives a concise definition of semantic search:

Semantic search is when several sources are used to perform a search, not just keywords.

The term semantics, as we said in the introduction, refers to the meaning or essence of something. When applied to the search, the concept is related to the study of words and their logic.

The goal of semantic search is to improve the accuracy of the results to understand the intent of the researcher. For this, the semantic search system uses data such as location, variation of the words, synonyms, among others.

What is the origin of semantic search?

The semantic search arises from the semantic web idea – a term which, in turn, was created by Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler and Ora Lassil.

In 2001, scientists published a paper describing the possibility of computers and humans working in cooperation, linking meanings of words and assigning meaning to the content published on the internet.

But despite already talking about semantic search from years before, the first major practical breakthrough came in 2013 with the upgrade that Google named the Hummingbird. At the time, we talk about what it represented in the post What changes in SEO with the new update of Google, Hummingbird .

Briefly, the news became more accurate the search results for users, with Google going beyond keyword and considering not only the search terms, but synonyms, context and more complex factors such as the user ‘s location and research earlier held by him.

Hummingbird extended the search possibilities for a world of semantic factors. Google currently uses more than 200 factors to deliver results to users. It is impossible to know everyone, but it is known that the user behavior affects them.

What are the benefits of semantic search?

For those looking for the answer is simple: the semantic search is much more accurate .

But there are also advantages for the search engines. Provide search results with less spam, more knowledge of the user intent and more conversation allows users to have a better experience.

Through data connection, the search promptly answers questions such as “what the mass of the sun?”.

semantic search

Similarly, when we research the famous phrase I’m sorry, Dave , said the computer HAL in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey , the browser does not return the name of the character, but also the title of the film.

semantic search

Already I research, for example, by nicknames like “Floripa”, Google understands that it is Florianopolis and shows results for both terms:

semantic search

Taking into account the intention and the user data, it is possible to offer more suitable results.

And for proper results, it means not only those that contain too many keywords and optimized titles (although this remains important) but that are aligned to the user’s intentions.

As semantic search influences the production of content?

Ok, semantic search is a reality and only spread keywords for their posts not no more. What to do to apply this information?

1. Produce quality content

When we talk about targeted content production for semantic search, keep in mind that you must produce quality content . Google needs to know immediately what your material is to be able to recommend it to people.

Producing good content you become authority in your market and is more likely to be referenced by Google.

Determine for what you want to be known and, from there, choose the keywords for which you want to rank. See who occupies this space and try to do better!

Also, if your content is of poor quality you will not have good results not only in relation to Google, because even if you can to rank, people will not be satisfied or share your posts or materials.

2. Produce content that address questions of your target audience

Create content that does not speak of your company, but answer the questions of your potential customers, attracting traffic and gaining authority. Sites like Answer the public help to find out the questions that people do search engines on various subjects.

The user intent also matters a lot more on semantic search times. Be sure also that the content you produce has a clear focus – to create a persona can help to get into the mind of your potential customer, producing especially targeted content to their needs.

3. Write for people

When writing your content, make use of natural language: use simple sentences in order to facilitate understanding – both the public and the search engine. The text must have purpose and give direct answers to the public.

To ensure that the text is clear and direct, a tip is to read aloud when finished writing.

4. Add internal links

Add internal links (those directed to other pages of your own website) it is also a way to indicate content that correlate with yours, improving the user experience . In addition, internal links generate a path from one page to another, which transfers authority to the site.

It is recommended to use between 2 and 5 internal links in each publication, but the number may vary depending on the density of each text. Ideally, enter them only when it makes sense and without generic directions such as “click here” or “this post”. If possible, add them on the keyword.


As we talked about in the DR often blog, the main idea should always be to offer the user the best content and the best experience possible. The better it is, the better your site will be considered by search engines.

Semantic search is already a reality, then the best thing to do is to follow good practice. 🙂

And you, what is your experience with semantic search? Leave your comment!