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Friday, February 19, 2016

Book Review Google Semantic Search by David Amerland

Semantic Search - Search Engine Optimization Techniques That Get Your Company More Traffic, Increase Brand Impact, and Amplify Your Online Presence written by David Amerland is a book about web/search 3.0. In 200 pages,   the author provides a good overview of the new search norm for the marketing professional. Written in a slightly theoretical style, the books provides the nitty gritties of semantic search,  it's components and how it all span out from search engine optimization perspective.

If you were looking for a more in depth technical overview of how semantic Web or search works; you will be disappointed.  I feel this book is written  for a marketer in charge of various digital media, including SEO.

The book is roughly written in three parts - first one dealing with an introduction on how search engines are transforming from a query engine to knowledge engine. 
The second part deals with how content marketing is driving new search marketing and how various channels such as social media get interlinked in building trust. The last part briefly discuss about how search is becoming more and more invisible and challenges in building an ideal knowledge engine.

The book revolves around three pillars - trust, reputation and authority. Five learning from reading the book are --

  1. How the search engine is changing from a mere keyword based link result showing tool to an universal search providing instant answers
  2. Why trust, reputation and authority are the key factors in getting your business web entities in search results; and how to build them
  3. How various marketing channels like content, social media and other Web assets are interlinked
  4. A checklist from all angles to build the right SEO strategies for semantic search
  5. A brief overview of Google specific algorithms and components like TrustRank, Knowledge graph etc.

Two places I felt the book fell short are

  1. Providing the technical depth either for an engineer or a marketer. The only technical knowledge on semantic search from this book is that it's components include a Resource Description Framework (RDF), Uniform Resource Indicator  (URI) and an Ontology module
  2. Few checklists are at a very high level demanding the reader to noodle through  a lot of other resources to get it implemented. This writing style creates a doubt on whether the book is written for an executive,  rather than an SEO professional 

Overall a good book, but I felt most of the topics are already covered in depth from various industry practitioners. Also keep in mind that some of the topics discussed  may appear outdated, requiring refinement or irrelevant anymore because of the nature of industry. For example, the importance of Google + or rel=author tag.


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