Keyword Search vs Semantic Search: Everything You Need To Know

Keyword Search is a traditional way of searching through the internet which is searching for search terms of users’ queries in the whole internet and showing up the results according to that analysis.

But, What is semantic search in short? Semantic search is the latest way that uses machine learning and vectors to understand what the user is actually searching for rather than just searching for the keywords traditionally. 

This works on some key elements such as the context and user intent but there are so many things to understand about semantic search.

Now, there are so many differences, and you, as a blogger should know about this because you can actually make your blog grow with these concepts. 

Today, in this article I am gonna tell you what is semantic search, what is keyword search with examples, why is semantic search better, how you can grow with it, and a lot more questions. So, let’s get started.

What Is Semantic Search: With Examples

Semantic search is the most advanced way of surfing through the internet and this has improved search engines at all times. But how does it work? 

It works by analyzing what the user is actually saying.

Because Google needs to have knowledge of every single page on the internet to give the user the best results. 

It does not just gets the keywords and starts finding pages with those keywords included. And then shows that up in the search results.

EXAMPLE: Let’s say you have a search query of “how to keep me warm in cold weather”. 

Then Google understands that you are maybe searching for sweaters through which you can keep yourself warm in the winter or avoid cold in winter and would show up results related to sweaters, maybe reviews, unboxing videos, and product pages to fulfill your requirements.

As this keyword has a strong informational intent, google will only show informational articles or blog posts. 

But if you said “Best sweaters for 2024” then Google would show up on product pages. 

What Is Keyword Search: With Examples

Keyword search is a traditional way of searching the internet which is getting the keywords of the user’s query and then searching pages that contain those keywords.

In this way, search engines might face issues like irrelevancy or a bad user search experience.

EXAMPLE: You have searched for “how to keep me warm in cold weather”. 


Now, with the traditional searching method, Google will show up pages that contain the following keywords: how, to, keep, me, warm, in, cold, and winter. 

But among the results in the SERPs, most of them would be irrelevant and the user would immediately leave the search engine for not fulfilling his requirements as fast as possible.

What Is The Difference Between Keyword Search And Semantic Search: Examples

Semantic Search

Keyword Search

Users need to pick up keywords randomly and the search engine will do the rest for giving the user the best results

Users need to pick up keywords carefully to get the best results from the search engine

Semantic search uses machine learning to understand the users’ queries properly and perfectly

Keyword search works by matching the keywords provided by the user with the content of web pages and the whole internet

Semantic search takes less time

Keyword search takes a longer time as it needs to crawl the whole internet’s pages.

Semantic search gives users the best experience by showing the most relevant results based on their query, intent, and other elements.

Keyword search gives users the worst experience by showing most of the irrelevant results based on the keywords he provided.

Why Is Semantic Search Better?

Semantic search is much better than keyword search just because keyword search just matches the keywords with all the webpages available on the internet and shows up the results, here it ends. 

But semantic search uses NLP (Natural Language Processing Models) and vector search to understand the user’s query properly and show up the most relevant results available on the internet.

Also, when it comes to SEOs and fellow bloggers, the treasure trove of keywords from Google itself called the people to ask question box, related searches, and others are an indirect result of this semantic search. 

Because when you enter a question in Google, Google’s NLPs understand that this question is relevant to the query the user provided, so, this can be shown in the PAA box.

How Does Semantic Search Works: Key Elements

Semantic search works by using Machine learning models or technology and vector search. Using machine learning semantic search can actually understand what the user is saying or what is actually in a 4000 words blog post or content.

This is basically dependent on some key elements.


Context is what the user enters in the search box. 

And it is super important for the search engine to understand what the user is actually asking for.

Let’s say I have asked for “delicious recipes” Then Google can understand that I am asking for some delicious recipes to try out and it can be anything from chicken to veg recipes and anything possible.

So, Google would show a general result that will surely fulfill my requirements.

But it’s too simple. What if I ask “Best restaurants near me”. Google has to now understand that I am asking for restaurants near me or my current location. 

So, Google has to know where I am located and then show the nearby search listings.

Google will now show websites and Google My Business Listings near my current location.

So, a good and intelligent search engine will think about all the things, from your current location, your actual intent (We will know about it in the next section), and what you are looking for.

User Search History

Search history is also accountable to a smart search engine. Let’s say I like to read articles from The Economic Times and Search Engine Journal.

For that reason, What google will do is simply show results of SEJ whenever I try to find out something related to SEO, and when it comes to economics it will show The Economic Times.

Unless you enter the incognito mode.

Google takes it super seriously when it comes to building a proper feed for users and recommending stories.

For search engines like YouTube, the whole thing is centered on it. Almost 70% of the total views come from this semantically smart algorithm system.

User Intent

The intent is like why you have entered or searched for something. Do you want to know about a product? Or Do You want to buy a product?

Or even better, You want to know about the manufacturing brand of that product. These three questions of above contain a unique intent.

Generally, there are four intents:

INFORMATIONAL: When a user comes to a search engine and searches for some information on the internet.

COMMERCIAL: When a user comes to Google and searches for some product reviews. This means he has a plan to buy that product in the near future or that day itself.

TRANSACTIONAL: When a user searches for a product on Amazon and follows the link and buys that product.

NAVIGATIONAL: Navigational intent is when you know a specific page of a website, didn’t remember the URL, and want to go to that particular page using Google whether or not, Google shows something more up and down of that particular result.

Vector Search

Vector search is a system that searches engines like Google uses to find the similarity between user queries and the context of a blog post.

It works by comparing different items based on certain characteristics or features.

For example, let’s say, we have a bunch of books and we need to find topically relevant books and separate them up.

Vector search will do that for us. It works simply by comparing certain characteristics and features.

It helps search engines to enable multimedia searching, give results super fast, and goes beyond traditional keyword search, and understands which documents or content are topically relevant to the user’s query.

Is Google A Semantic Search?

Yes, Google is a semantic search engine that allows us to search with our voice, photos, and even videos. 

Google uses NLP (Natural Language Processing Models) which is a kinda Machine learning and obviously, vector search to answer queries with the best ever results possible. You can know more about NLP in the given link of Google’s official documents.

Especially, we get benefitted from this technology with featured snippets. 

Google first, reads the whole content and understands what the writer wants to say in every single line.

Then whenever a user searches for something it thinks which part of the content is super relevant to the query the user said. 

And shows up featured snippets or if not possible then simply, ranks those sites accordingly.


In conclusion, Semantic search is the smartest way, that Search engines are already using for searching the internet and answering random queries from people, worldwide.

It works by using a lot of things even beyond those facts mentioned in this article. And you can actually take advantage of it. Remember the more Google understands your content, the more you are gonna rank fast and better.

To make Google understand your content you can use semantic keywords in your content. Thus, I have a few articles describing what semantic keywords are and how to use them in your blog post.

Here’re those:

Thanks for reading.