HOA: Semantic Search Made Easy with David Amerland

+David Amerland is an author and speaker with a passion for Google Semantic Search. In fact, he wrote the book on the subject.

Google Semantic Search – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Techniques That Gets Your Company More Traffic, Increases Brand Impact and Amplifies Your Online Presence.

On Google+, David is the “go-to guy” on the subject and he posts daily, providing answers in clear language that has helped many understand this complex topic. Also on this panel were +Mark Vang, +Beth Browning and +Susan Finch

This conversation took a tangent into the more personal side of content, interacting and connecting, commenting, posting. We talked about honesty, and building trust. A brand is not a brand like it used to be with a spokesperson and corporate message. Corporations need to rethink their brand ambassadors, hire more carefully and build trust and loyalty. What do they do when a key contributor leaves? How do they switch the tone of their message in their social media venues? Do they talk about why the person left and introduce the new person into the position. We say yes because it builds an honest message and continues on the path of building trust.

google-semantic-lThe first thing to cover is, what is semantic search? David explained, “It’s the game changer, total change in way search works.” This will cause a big shift, but we are still determining HOW big. We need to step back a bit and look at it. He went on, “Basically, it is the change from an uncertain environment of connection to a certain. We used to work with uncetaintities, using keywords hoping it would work, then you’d try more words…The person creating the content would guess the kind of search query you would put in there in terms of keywords, hoping they had efficient keywords and a broad enough spectrum. Shooting in the dark from both sides, hoping the two bullets would meet. Now we are giving the right page to the right person at the right time.”

All of the things fall by wayside: gaming terms no longer works. If you haven’t right content or answer the right query. You can be as big as you want – huge company with content marketing team, but if it doesn’t answer what it is supposed to answer you won’t show up. This brings up honesty, authority on the subject and personality playing a role with G+ and across the web.

As we are all more connected online and through sharing of referrals, content, resources, that is all based on trust. As a company you MUST contribute content through people who can give your potential customers and followers a reason to trust you. Below is a partial transcript of this discussion. There are many helpful points.

Mark Vang:
Curious about how Semantic search will work. Will it help out the little guy? Do you think this will help smaller businesses, solos, who have a G+ profile, more intimate connections with social signals more directly validated – advantage over large corporations?

David Amerland:
Definitely. We are the most comfortable when we are dealing with people. Biologically we are superbly well adapted to see the signals that generate trust. Draws sufficient signals to understand what they are about, about whether we want to have a connection with them. Without trust we can have no relational change whatsoever.

Very nature of trust has been evolved around the sale of goods. If you have no goods to sell, you have no need for identity at a deep personal level, no need to build trust.”

The web used to be in an anonymous space, being whomever they wanted to be, disappear and reappear as someone else.
This has changed to whatever we do on whatever platform we are identifiable. Your personal profile is beginning to become as important as your reputation in your offline world.

In the decentralized worlds of the past we relied on brands because they invested so much in their brand and image, they saw us as numbers and have lost a lot of our trust. We tend to work on a more personal level. Large corporations – that clarify who they are as people in the corporation to share who they are, their values. These will continue to be add value and trust to brands.
It’s difficult for the old thinker CEOs of larger companies to think of their employees as brand ambassadors.

David Amerland:

“In the past, “we” were viewed through pie charts and stats rather than knowing people and building that trust internally first.
What has changed? The way we make the purchasing decision. We are mobile, we are vocal and we are empowered. Because of this change, companies are now, or should be spending more money to target us. Slick advets, we don’t trust them, that’ show the dialog starts.”

Beth Browning:
“We’re writing great content. Targeting answers not people. It’s a different approach.”

DA: In this moment we are takling about making the personal connection. A brand telling us how big it is, money, etc. no longer evokes automatic trust. Why do you have to spend so much money in advertising? Brands are beginning to realize they need to allow us to see how they work, what are their concerns, they want to connect with us. Their working environment is constrained in a way that dictates how they operate. I have yet to see a corporate environment where trust is endemic. It is not automatic. They need to trust their employees to build this. It has to change – they have to take a chance.

Game has changed. Employers used to hold all control of your job.
Symantec search changes it – if employees help build the brand, through social media, if they are not treated well, they leave bitter and take their influence and connections with them. If I’m using employees to be integral part of my marketing, what if they leave, or the relationship sours – this changes the entire dialog.”

Mark Vang:
“I’m a bit cynical in life. Amateurish interest in information security – what is the alterior motive. How can it be exploited? Look at recipricol links and how they have been unmasekd and dumped….This won’t stop the bad guys. They’ll take it as a challenge.”

David Amerland:
“Symantic web – is a social signal, ‘Let’s pay them to promote our stuff…’ suppose you did this? This is what happens, because everything is transparent, you would set off or ripple out red flags on the credibility of your intent, your authority on your expert subject matter. A fake persona is a mask that can betray you. Personality changes as the torch is passed on. They lose the most without realizing it. Real employee connecting with real customers.” Better to be transparent when there is a shift in who is connecting, talk about the change and then move forward.

Susan Finch:

“When you hire someone that is a potential brand ambassador – make sure they can spell and write a sentence, and knows the difference between their homonyms. What is their online personality like? Are they prone to go off the handle, be disrespectful? You may want to rethink the hire and seek someone who is more in line with your company values, tone. This is not to say that passionate people who are emotional online are not good ambassadors, especially if they have the ear of your target audience, but can they be part of the plan to promote the brand or company? If they left, would they stay professional where you could each wish the other well as they venture on?”

Some take aways:

Create new frameworks in order to guide employees in this so you don’t set them up for failure.

SoMe is not going away. Larger companies are beginning gradually to take the steps necessary to get there.
The bigger the company, the slower the pace. 
2020 – will be a different world.

Trust becomes difficult to quantify.
But it is critical to doing anything. 

Alignment of purpose – shared sense of values, shared send of how we do it. but even with differences, we create a respect for the differences. Companies are not charities, there for a profit, but they need to treat us like people, do a bit of good beyond making money for their owners or shareholder. These are the shared values.



David Amerland on Amazon and his books – which are many on the topic of SEO, marketing, Google and a few on Judo, Tae Kwon Doand other topics.