How To Optimize Your Website For Semantic Search: Interview With Zack Flannick At #Pubcon 2013

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A big thanks to our Pubcon 2013 SEJ Lounge sponsor, Paygrip: “the most powerful payment processing platform in the world.”

In an interview conducted at Pubcon 2013 in Las Vegas, Zack Flannick of Ally Bank leads a discussion about semantic search and how it can be used to provide more information to search engines about your website.

Zack is the SEO manager at Ally Financial as well as an expert in the semantic web. Zack explains what semantic search is and provides some optimization strategies in the video below:

Here are some key takeaways from the video:

  • Back in 2011 Google and Bing came to a consensus on using semantic markup. What this does is help search engines identify specific properties on a website in a clear, digestible way.
  • This is important to website owners because it means going forward Google will be relying on a combination of information within their knowledge graph as well as markup when providing search results.
  • In terms of strategy, Zack recommends to first go through your website and determine what properties can be marked up. On you can search for your industry and find out exactly what properties can be marked up.
  • For local businesses, marking up your name, address, and phone number is absolutely essential.
  • By providing this information to Google you’re making them the distributor for your content as it will be spread across their knowledge graph.
  • If you’re using WordPress there are plugins you can install to make semantic markup easier.

If you have any questions after watching the video, for either myself or Zack, ask them in the comments section and we will do our best to respond to everyone! Please visit SEJ’s YouTube page for more video interviews from Pubcon 2013.



Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands

Murray founded The Mail in 2013, an angel-funded startup publication covering performance marketing and mobile marketing. Murray is an advisor to a number of bay area startups including VigLink. In 2011 Wiley published his book Online Marketing: A User's Manual. Born in England, Murray moved to the USA in 2011 being recognized by the US government as "an alien of extraordinary ability". Murray co-authored Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals with Bruce Clay. Murray runs the agency Influence People based in San Francisco.
Murray Newlands
  • João

    we started applying in our projects and definitely help us to get ranked in Google. it really works, btw great interview thanks.

  • Trevor

    There’s no better personality in digital marketing than Murray Newlands. Always appreciate his work and thoughts.

  • Denis Seghetti is absolutely essential when we talk about e-commercing!! That’ a thing to remember! It gives to Google the possibility to index pages with informations like product ratings, prices, descriptions and more attributes (color, weight etc..)