What are semantically related keywords?
Till a decade ago, search engines like Google were ranking websites for search terms mainly based on the keywords in the website content and back-links to the website. Hence most search engine optimization firms were focusing on ensuring that the content had the relevant keywords, especially long-term keywords to rank well in the search engine results. Later after doing extensive research on the behavior of the search engine users, it was found that the users are looking for information that will answer their queries. Hence search engines like google are also trying to find out what the user is looking for while generating search results that will satisfy the user.
Semantically related keywords represent groups of words that are connected by meaning. The meaning of individual words in a group of words can mean something quite the opposite.
Let us see one example:
Word “umbrella” is a device used as protection against rain.
Word “fund” is the sum of money saved or made available for a particular purpose.
Semantically related keywords “Umbrella fund” represents a mutual fund that invests exclusively in other mutual funds.
As we can see the word “umbrella” has nothing to do with finances but the “umbrella fund” has a completely different meanings.
Semantics and keywords
In addition to keywords, backlinks, the semantics of the page are also considered while ranking the page in the search results. Many businesses are told that if keywords that are semantically related are used in the website content, the ranking of their website in the search engines will improve. Hence many of the businesses want to find out What are semantically related keywords. Semantics is a specialization in the field of Linguistics which tries to understand the meaning of the words other than the dictionary meaning. Thus keywords which are related to each other semantically are words or phrases which are used in the same context
For example for the keyword “search volume,” some of the keywords which are semantically related are paid search, keyword research, online marketing, PPC, SEO. This is because usually only a person who is involved in online marketing of websites and businesses, using PPC, SEO or other methods is likely to be interested in search volumes for the different keywords. Hence instead of only using keywords while choosing the pages which would rank well in the search results, the search engines like Google are also checking the other keywords which are included in the page to decide whether the page is relevant
Earlier the search engines were considering the keyword density of the keyword being searched and this led to a lot of spam content with keyword stuffing which was not useful or readable. Hence the web crawlers and search engines tried to evaluate the usefulness of a particular webpage by checking whether it contained the other terms which are related to the keyword. If the content of the webpage was written for a human audience it would usually contain terms which are semantically connected to the main keyword, and used along with the main keyword in the description
Search ranking and keywords
Increasingly Google and other search engines are focusing on user intent while displaying the search results for a particular search term and user. The user’s past history is also considered while displaying search results. Hence Search engine optimization (SEO) agencies are trying to ensure that the website content includes keywords that are semantically related to the main keywords which are being searched, for which the products or services are sold. This can help improve the ranking of the website for many keywords, especially if there is a lot of competition for the keywords.