Over the past few months, Google has been applying neural matching to help better understand synonyms, impacting 30% of search queries (or over a billion searches per day).
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You can get more insight into Danny’s tweet and the implications of it from this post on Search Engine Journal.
Google’s Danny Sullivan recently tweeted out something interesting. He said: “Last few months, Google has been using neural matching, –AI method to better connect words to concepts. Super synonyms, in a way, and impacting 30% of queries. Don’t know what “soap opera effect” is to search for it? We can better figure it out.”
In that tweet, Danny is referring to an example of when someone searches for “why does my TV look strange” and can bring up results for the “soap opera effect”.
As pointed out by SEJ, this is remarkable because something like “why does my tv look strange” has nothing to do with soap operas, yet Google can figure out what you’re looking for.
This doesn’t change anything drastic for your website, but drives home a point that we’ve made for years — it’s critical that you help Google understand what your pages are about. The more it can understand your content, the more likely you’ll surface when people search for what you have (even if they use vastly different words to say it).