You know the feeling. You are browsing through your social media feed and an advertisement pops up for an item or category of an item you have been shopping for recently. Freaky? Not really. This interesting topic came to our attention from the Alexa blog (ironically) in their article, “Semantic Search: What it is and How it Impacts Your SEO.”

Semantic search is the ability of search engines to consider the intent and contextual meaning of search phrases when serving content to users on the web. Before, search engines could only analyze the exact phrasing of a search term when matching results with a search query. Now, search algorithms are more sophisticated and incorporate semantic search principles when ranking content.

Semantic search is what powers e-commerce to make those connections that give you pause. Semantic search takes a human approach to data, by identifying relationships between topics beyond just keywords. A retailer’s search engine that utilizes semantic search understands the natural language that a customer is using and presents the product that the customer was aiming to find, even if the customer and the retailer use different terms for the product. 

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.