AI in Improving Semantic Distance Score

October 08, 2020

Once upon a time, a Google search would yield results based strictly on the keywords a searcher typed into the search bar. Since then, however, search technology has evolved to incorporate artificial intelligence, which enables the search engine to deliver the most accurate results based on several variables, with keywords being just one of them. Google refers to this new and improved search as “semantic search” and scores websites based on their “semantic distance.”

The introduction of semantic search

Semantic search is not a new idea, though many brands are only just now incorporating the concept into their content marketing strategies. Back in 2013, Google realized that because people communicate through conversations, not keywords, it was time to make some serious changes. As a result, it released the Hummingbird algorithm, which was designed to improve the search engine’s understanding of users’ search queries and deliver more accurate results faster.

Unlike previous algorithms, which returned results based solely on keywords, Hummingbird understood that words have multiple meanings. Thus, it used AI to gather information about a user’s location, search history, spelling, and context to better understand the intent behind a search term. Google then used this data to quickly analyze full questions and rank results based on a particular user’s previously indexed content. Content that ranks higher is deemed to have a better “semantic score.”

Improving your semantic distance score

Regardless of industry, optimizing content for semantic search is essential. However, because you are in the medical field, it is even more so for your content.

One of the simplest ways to optimize your medical content for semantic search is by using potential patients’ natural language. Medical professionals use highly technical language that is difficult to understand, much less spell or pronounce. Moreover, the medical field is replete with clinical jargon and acronyms with which the average person is unfamiliar. For instance, as a dentist, you may refer to a deep cleaning as “dental prophylaxis.” However, chances are low that anyone other than another dental professional searches for a dentist by that term. By simply describing these services as “teeth cleaning,” you can drastically expand your audience base.

However, improving your semantic score is not as simple as speaking your audience’s lingo. Google considers several variables when delivering results. Below are additional strategies you can use to make semantic search work for you:

  • Create highly targeted and useful content that turns the keyword into the topic
  • Optimize content for featured snippets (e.g., clearly answer questions in your content in concise ways and while targeting long-tail keywords)
  • Optimize your content for voice search
  • Use companion keywords, linguistic variations, and synonyms
  • Add schema markup, or structured data, to the backend of your content to tell Google what your content is about

Improve your semantic searchability

Artificial intelligence may be what makes semantic search possible, but improving the semantic searchability of your site does not have to be so technical. In fact, all you really have to do to succeed with Google’s latest algorithms is to offer highly valuable content. For the help you need to make your website more searchable and increasing your search ranking, call 1-877-477-2311 to learn more.

Doctor Genius, located at 2 S Pointe Dr #200, Lake Forest, CA 92630, provides a range of services for practice success. We seek to meet our clients’ needs by providing a variety of marketing, SEO, practice optimization tools, and coaching to transform the healthcare experience. Though we work to provide the most accurate information, the content found on this website is solely intended for entertainment purposes. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is entirely correct. You may not use the information on this site to cure, prevent, or diagnose a perceived medical issue. If you have healthcare-related needs, please speak directly to a healthcare professional. Never self-perform medical treatments discussed on this website. All images displayed are also for entertainment purposes only, and personal experiences may differ. Please note that the business tactics mentioned on this site might not be applicable to your industry or practice.