The new buzzword now is Web 3.0. There’s actually a definition for it. Well, there’s more than one, it appears. But I’m just getting used to Web 2.0. And haven’t quite figured out what that is, to be honest. Can’t we meet in the middle and just work on Web. 2.5 before moving on?
I prefer the concept of Semantic Web over anything else. Latent semantic indexing is a kind of analysis that allows computers (ie. search engine robots) the ability to analyze information, words and such, to determine their meaning within context. The concept essentially means that keywords are not as important as we make them out to be.
Currently, search engine optimization relies almost completely upon keyword management. But Google has already implemented latent semantic indexing into its algorithm functions, and there are new search engines being developed that are entirely natural language based. As this technology is improved, search engines will, more and more, begin to rely upon the latent semantic analysis model to retrieve relevant results for searchers and SEO as we know it will change forever. But how?
We are still aways off from it, but this should help you put your mind in that direction. Latent semantic indexing relies on the relationship of words in proximity of definition to other words. That is, “man” and “male” are synonymous concepts while “man” and “giraffe” are not. So when writing website content, future web pages may not necessarily need the occurrence of a particular keyword in order to register as relevant to a specific query. All that would be required is a relatively close usage of language and words to a particular concept upon which the web page is based.
For instance, if I am writing a web page that explains how to change a flat tire, if I want to rank high in the SERPs for that particular concept then it would behoove me to include the phrase “change a flat tire” a certain number of times on the page and using SEO techniques that put certain weight on the way in which it is used on the page. That plus a few off-page factors relative to how my competition employs the same principles determines how I rank for the key phrase “change a flat tire.” That’s how it is now.
With latent semantic indexing, I could write a similar page and never use the exact key phrase as long as it is obvious that is what I’m talking about. In other words, a savvy writer who can write in a conversational, natural writing style will be able to rank well for the concept even without using the exact key phrase. It sounds like science fiction, but I think this is the way the Web is going. When will that happen? Who knows. We could be years away or it could just be around the corner. But there are enough scientists in the world working on it that we could possibly reach the goal before we find a cure for cancer.
I don’t care what you call it – Web 3.0, Semantic Web, Artificial Intelligence – just don’t force me to give up strategies that work before it’s time. Changes take time to digest.