Semantic Search for Song Related Queries
I came across this while I was at work and I hadn’t seen this before, so I thought I’d create an article on this subject even though this feature has been around for a while. Music isn’t an industry that I can relate to and the clients at the agency that I work for do not have any music involvement, which means I don’t really have to lookout for search queries like this.
On the 30 August 2013 Google released Hummingbird, a new algorithmic search enhancement that focused on user intent and providing more in depth search results than ever before. That said, Google have really pushed into what the user intent is for people who would be searching for artist’s songs and they’ve done so in a clever way by combining various sources to come up with search results that are not only helpful, but in depth using Google’s Knowledge Graph base.
If we take a look at the music niche, there’s a very interesting way that Google has managed to collate data into this very useful search result. If you look at the top of the screenshot below you’ll find a music carousel, which lists all of Lily Allen’s songs. Not only that, but you’ll get a short biography of the artist – creating an environment where the searcher is more informed without having to do any additional actions.
What does this mean for websites?
Google faces a very big challenge with the way that search results can be manipulated, which is why they’ve invested heavily into semantic search. As you can see by the screenshot example above, there is no need to go to SongFacts.com. Google has essentially provided the person searching for Lily Allen songs a perfect resource without even having to look at or consider clicking on any search results. I can bet you that this has likely affected many of the websites that rank high for these newly crafted search results pages, and has resulted into a lower amount of click-throughs and thus traffic.
Diving a little deeper
If you click on any of the songs, you’ll be directed to a new page where an embed of the song on YouTube can be played. Note: You cannot actually play the video in the SERPs and the image below that looks like a video will simply direct you to the relevant song that you’ve searched for where you can then play the song.
The Result Of This
In effect semantic search for song related queries has resulted in 2 important things:
- Google is trying to increase their YouTube Share of Voice by directly plugging YouTube videos at the forefront of this update.
- Google is continuing to focus on user intent, and as a result websites that rank well for these search terms have been clouded out by the music carousel.
I think it’s quite interesting and we’ll possibly see more and more Hummingbird updates in 2014. Why not try it out for yourself? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.