Google has announced that change is coming to search, whether the marketing world is ready for it or not.  In what will be the biggest change to Google’s primary product since the introduction of AdWords, Google will be shifting from its current search model to one based on semantic analysis.  In other words, it will be attempting to introduce a form of artificial intelligence to its search function.

Google, as well as other search engines, currently relies on a keyword-based search system, one that scans web pages and sites for the keyword entered and structures its results based on the relevance of factors pertaining to those sites.  Being that there is no true alternative to this type of search, searchers are used to, and comfortable with, this keyword-based system.  But what if Google could “understand” the context in which the keyword is being searched?  It could provide results that pertain more to what is being requested than a string of webpages that simply feature the keyword but are completely of context.

Further, Google is attempting to feature its own site as the platform to answer these queries, rather than promoting links to sites that could potentially satisfy the searcher.  The ramifications of this shift to marketers could be staggering, as search results could be reduced to just a few on the first page, or even “below the fold” of the screen completely.  Search engine optimization will likely need to be done in an entirely new way, as semantic search will probably put such an emphasis on content and accuracy that the use of backlinking and blogging may be rendered substantially less effective.  And Google text ads will need to be written to emphasize content and pertinence to the search, as opposed to purely featuring the most popular keyword.

Scheduled to debut in the latter half of 2012, Google’s semantic search will call for a significant shift in how advertisers approach search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and online marketing in general.  Search engine marketing was a daunting task before the change to semantic search, so don’t tackle this challenge alone, enlist the help of the experts at SmartLink.  Call them at (561) 688-8155.