Semantic SEO: Your Website is a Goldmine with On-Site SEO 2.0

kevin-rosseel-gold.jpg*

You think on-page SEO is dead? It hasn’t even begun! To be clear, your website is a goldmine and you haven’t even started to dig for the gold.

In my SEO 2.0 blog I have covered blogging, social media and the likes to the point of excess. At the same time I have dismissed most of on-page SEO as obsolete or as built in basics of even the simplest CMS software.

Do you think on-page SEO is just about h1 tags, meta descriptions or enhancing website copy with keywords? Now think again.

Consider using the term on-site SEO referring to the whole site not just each page for itself. Now add the adjective “semantic“.

The semantic web (often called Web 3.0) and its search are about meaning.

Google matches phrases without knowing what they mean. Semantic search is based on understanding what the search query is about. What if you could use software to determine the meaning of your own content and categorize it in topical clusters?

You could:

  • Make users stick with your website as a reader would always find related articles to the current one he just read
  • Serve contextual advertising like Google does
  • Automatically improve indexation with “internal links” cross-linking related content

Doesn’t sound revolutionary? Well, what does it mean then? Nowadays you will typically structure news by location and topics. For instance Europe or business are used as categories. So a story about fuel shortage in Great Britain could be found in Europe and business categories.

Now what about other relations? What if the story is related to another one from outside Europe or one that is not about business directly? A reader keen on reading the latest energy and fuel news would not find anything of interest anymore amidst bizarre stories from Europe about a father hiding his daughter in a cellar for over 20 years or singer Amy Whinehouse and her legal problems.
Yes, these stories have been been put together in Europe on CNN (April 28th, 2008). The reader will leave.

With semantic SEO implemented on your website you can make the reader find several stories related to this one, automatically.

Using this example: There are a few related stories out there right now: In Brazil president Lula speaks out about bio fuel , in Singapore the oil price reaches a new height, Venezuela and Iran plan to work more closely together (thus limiting western access to oil). Also there is another story about pirates freeing hostages near Somalia. Now the first three are obvious. The fourth one is related too but how? Pirates and other militants are also increasingly a problem in Nigeria where they attack oil tankers.

How did I find out? I used a (now defunct) news aggregator that uses semantic web and search methodology to determine which articles and news are related.

  • So instead of reading just one article or page I read 5 increasing page views per visit or stickiness
  • The website could show contextual ads about alternative energy or energy saving
  • Older news about the same topic could have been directly linked to the latest news automatically. Google could spider them and rank them up as relevant again.

Now this means

  • an increase of 500% in page views per visit for this example
  • serving highly relevant ads with most probably high click-thrus
  • new crawling and better ranking for several articles resulting in more targeted search traffic

All this just with semantic SEO implemented on-site. Nowadays most of your content gets wasted. You can let machines dig for the hidden gold in your archives instead. So how do I do that or rather which solution can do it for me?

I do not know myself yet. I was approached by Nstein, a company that is “powering online publishing” for large publishers across the globe to help them spread the word.

Any method that looks like SEO 2.0 to me and that allows to potentially double, triple or even increase the number of page views by 500% in my case is worth exploring.

Last updated: Janury 27th, 2010. Removed broken links and by now irrelevant parts of the text. Cleaned up markup.



* Image by Kevin Rosseel

m4s0n501