Semantic Analysis

Semantic analysis is a form of analysis that derives from linguistics. The meaning of a word is analyzed. Semantic analysis also plays a role in search engine optimization. A search engine can determine webpage content that best meets a search query with such an analysis. Semantic search is the future of search engine technology.

What is a semantic analysis of a website?[edit]

A semantic analysis of a website determines the “topic” of the page. Semantics mostly refers to meaning. Other relevant terms can be obtained from this, which can be assigned to the analyzed page.

Example: A typical page from an online store shows 50 different types of sneakers. The “main topic” of the site would thus be “sneakers.” Within the scope of a semantic analysis it is determined how precisely this page interprets the significance of “sneakers.” These include terms such as “shoes,” “shoe size,” “clothing,” “feet,” “running,” etc. The more these terms are found on the page, the more relevant it is considered to be with regard to the main topic.

Semantic analysis for a search query[edit]

A semantic analysis in the context of search queries gets interesting when homonyms are used. These are words which are pronounced and spelled the same way, but the meaning varies. Some classics homonyms are:

  • Bank as in the land alongside or sloping down to a river or lake. Bank as a financial institution
  • Golf as a sport. Golf as a car model

If a user then enters the words “bank” or “golf” in the search slot of a search engine, it is up to the search engine to work out which semantic environment (nature or financial institution, sports or car) the query should be assigned to.

That is why the Google search engine is working intensively with the web protocolthat the user has activated. If, for example, they have often searched for products related to the VW brand, it is likely that they are looking for a car when entering “Golf.” Through the “Suggest” and “Autocomplete” functions, Google is already trying to offer relevant search combinations for the user input. By analyzing click behavior, the semantic analysis can result in users finding what they were looking for even faster.

SEA and semantics[edit]

An analysis of the meaning framework of a website also takes place in search engine advertising as part of online marketing. For example, Google uses semantic analysis for its advertising and publishing tool AdSense to determine the content of a website that best fits a search query. Google probably also performs a semantic analysis with the keyword planner if the tool suggests suitable search terms based on an entered URL. In addition to text elements of all types, meta data about images and even the filenames of images used on the website are probably included in the determination of a semantic image of a destination URL. The more accurate the content of a publisher’s website can be determined with regard to its meaning, the more accurately display or text ads can be aligned to the website where they are placed.

Relevance to SEO[edit]

Knowing the semantic analysis can be beneficial for SEOs in many areas. On the one hand, it helps to expand the meaning of a text with relevant terms and concepts. On the other hand, possible cooperation partners can be identified in the area of link building, whose projects show a high degree of relevance to your own projects.

One consequence of a semantic analysis of websites is the optimization of content using the TF*IDF formula.

In addition, semantic analysis ensures that the accumulation of keywords is even less of a deciding factor as to whether a website matches a search query. Instead, the search algorithm includes the meaning of the overall content in its calculation.

Consequences for searches[edit]

Semantic analysis is part of ever-increasing search engine optimization. Whereas at the beginning, the Internet search engines were simply structured to list the webpages which provides the most identical keyword based on specific search terms high up in the SERPs, today there are many other ranking factors. Thus, it is assumed that the thematic relevance through the semantics of a website is also part of it.

Semantics will play a bigger role for users, because in the future, search engines will be able to recognize the search intent of a user from complex questions or sentences. Voice recognition gain in importance. For example, the search engines must differentiate between individual meaningful units and comprehend the correct meaning of words in context.