The days of keyword-centric SEO are long gone. Right now, if you want to secure a good spot for your affiliate business on the results pages, you’ll need to take care of much more than just building your content around keywords.

For instance, there’s the issue of semantic search.

Here’s what to do about it:

1. Use Good Markup

Good markup can be a very effective tool to give your content some extra boost in the search engines. Granted, it won’t get you ranked all on its own, but it’s great for going the extra mile.

Basically, whenever you’re publishing a review, or some info about an event, product summary, any form of offer, etc., make sure to give that piece of content the right markup.

This can be done with plugins like All In One Rich Snippets. You can also find all the standard markups here.

2. Think About Search Like Users Do

The way Google works these days, is that as users start typing in a phrase, Google suggests the next word that can follow (and even whole phrases) inside a drop-down menu.

So, for instance, if you’re targeting a long-tail keyword, it is likely that the user won’t even go as far as to type it all in. Therefore, to improve your chances, you should create your content in a way that it talks about those higher level topics as well. That way, there’s a better chance that your page will show up for some of the earlier phrases.

3. Be Up-to-date With How Semantic Works

Semantic search is an area where new developments happen very quickly and there’s something changing literally every week. It’s therefore a very good habit to subscribe to Google’s official dev blogs, as well as other technical blogs in that space.

Whenever something new gets released, it’s usually described first on those official dev blogs. Then various sites take it from there and try translating it into plain English. If you continue stepping in early and optimizing your site right away, you’ll be getting the most benefits.

4. Work With the Knowledge Graph

It’s no mystery that Google now shifts from being a search engine that’s purely keyword-based to one that actually understands what the users are asking for when typing in a phrase. As a result, these days you can easily ask about “Chicago Bulls,” and instead of giving you a generic results page, Google understands exactly what you mean and displays custom info about the team and even the result of the last game.

In short, you need to learn how to play along with the knowledge graph and have your content featured as soon as possible. The goal is to let Google know what “thing” is your site about, and make them understand how to display it to the search engine users.


Semantic search is surely here to stay, and the quicker we understand how to make our sites optimized for it, the better for our businesses. The key here is to simply stay up-to-date with what’s going on and what the newest developments in that space are (and, of course, implementing them as you go along).

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