For as long as it has been about, Google has been providing us the best possible results for the search term we have entered (or what they consider to be the best possible results…). This originally consisted of a simple list of blue web links and a small extract from the page and recently new results including shopping, places, images, videos, etc…
But this all looks set to change as Google looks to undergo its biggest makeover yet; implementing “semantic search technology” the world’s largest search engine will now provide more answers than just web results, including facts and in some cases a direct answer to a search query, as opposed to a large list.
This technology has been seen previously, in Wolfram Alpha, a British search engine which tries to answer a user’s queries rather than providing them with a list of relevant websites. It seems Google are trying harder to maintain their spot as the market leader and stay ahead of the curve since losing its partnership with Twitter; which had previously allowed it to provide tweets in the body of its search results – enabling the results to be as up-to-the-minute and relevant to the user as possible.
Initial reports suggest that this will not affect Google’s keyword search system, but rather it will be blended with this semantic search technology; however this could still mean dark times for millions of websites which rely upon Google’s current page-ranking results.
What is still unclear is whether or not these semantic results will contain links to websites that Google feels will provide you with the answer. In some respects it is an extension of the “I’m feeling lucky” button already implemented by Google; but how many of us ever use that feature?
Is this an opportunity for Google to tell us how we should be thinking or is it a genuine improvement in search functionality. Whatever the answer to these questions, we’re certain that it will impact on SEO later this year.
This may mean a whole new approach to SEO, and if it does, we’ll be sure to be on top of it, so watch this space…