A Semantic Plan


By Michel Reibel

We have struck iceberg ... sinking fast ... come to our assistance

—Captain E. J. Smith, on his retirement trip on the Titanic

Message in a Bottle

When I was talking with a business leader (aka "the Captain") there for a while, I got passionate to compare his views on the situation he described to me about his company (aka "the boat") to the famous book written by Nicolas Hulot: "The Titanic Syndrome".

We now know that the loss of the Titanic is due to the ambition of the White Star Line company, its owner, that wanted to go faster, a matter of prestige and, sad irony, which won the record only for the speed at which this fabulous ship was sent to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

It is scientifically proven that if its navigating speed was too high to avoid the collision of an iceberg (...), the ship's hull, could not resist the shock, because it had been assembled with 3 million of lower quality rivets because it had been made too quickly ...

The branding of a company on the Web is not limited only to its website as a "message in a bottle thrown into the sea", which, with any luck, maybe found by someone who will read.

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails

—William Arthur Ward, Writer

If we compare a company to a sailboat and the internet to the sea, the hull would be the entity that you run and sails would be the web content that you post and you adjust to the wind. When navigating, sometimes it is also necessary to make "a spot on the sea", which is difficult given the propensity for its immensity.

All of this is absolutely doable and the main purpose of David Amerland's book, which clearly illustrates the magnitude of the subject; how to locate your boat and adjust the sails to bring it to the destination you have set, the whole step by step process required to realistically reach port ...

Search has changed. Search marketing now works differently ... Content is now key to your website's visibility, your branding and the creation of your digital identity

—David Amerland, Author, Speaker, Analyst


—Defintion: Regarding the meaning given …

Truce of metaphors. We know that economic performance is now based on the integration and development of the cultural evolution of digital. Behavioral change induced by social influence through networks is crucial both in terms of the perception of information as for sharing it. This is what is now considered by the main Google search engine.

Yes but now, it is humans that give meaning to the actions and words so that robots can distinguish content. There is no "autopilot", it is the constant work of a new structured digital marketing that David Amerland describes in his latest book.


—Defintion: That falls within holism, considering the object as a component of a whole.

The 5 first steps of this book (to illustrate only of those) that range from creating a Google account to the definition of web content that is to be created, are perfectly aligned in my point of view in a holistic approach and with at each step, there's a list of semantic search actions suggested by David Amerland.

I was surprised by the number of relationships (sometimes unexpected) between different elements to create a coherent overall content for my websites, my branding and my digital identity.

For many actions listed, David invites us to map and brainstorm each of his recomendations, so I set out to create a Mind Map and thus to visualize all of these relationships and their impact(s). After all, boats need navigation instruments too, right?

The result is significant in the sense that I could more easily locate my strengths and weaknesses as an audit and to arbitrate the efforts required by the objectives set for my organization as a project plan (or to-do list):

In agreement with David Amerland, you can download for free this Mind Map I’ve made, delivered by the world's largest Mind Map Library which is Biggerplate and of which I am a founding member. You can also download for free the Mind Mapping XMind software tool for PC or Mac (or any other supporting .xmind files).

Business Modelling

David Amerland also recommends this book for entrepreneurs, which did not leave me indifferent. Quite the contrary. As to the dichotomy by Mind Mapping of his book, it appeared significantly two essential keys which are value and viability, two concepts that are also found in the last book of Guy Kawasaki: The Art of The Start 2.0 for which I wrote a review as a beta reader and for which I am now its alpha user ...

What value does my product or service bring? What is its viability ...? We both think that a key concept must take into account the new semantic search parameters. And so is an adequate digital strategy. When I mentioned this to David a few days ago, I then proceeded to overlay the 5 first steps of his book on a visual and universal Business Model Canvas in order to better think and better communicate ussumptions when (re)designing a product or a service with these new elements.

Whether for a new business or an existing organization, it can help detect new possibilities in terms of channels of relationships for different customer and partner segments, and of distribution of its offer with positive impact on cost structure and revenue streams. Of course, this can be extended if we take into account all of the steps described in David Amerland's book.


David Amerland is the author of several books on the topic, one of the best known of which is Google Semantic Search, recently translated into the language of the Mandarins. David is the authority in this field and frequently crosses the seas to go and meet businesses and organizations, to give us the wind direction …

Regarding SEO HELP - 20 Semantic Search Steps That Will Help Your Business Grow, this is a book that I did not finish, so many times I have to go back on the steps and action lists contained therein. For several years, I wonder systematically about the notion of value, that would do a "single post" that should work in a whole.This is actually a very good tool because David's book gives me the items I miss to define relationships with more confidence, to establish the actions, the editorial line thus the corresponding digital means to the nature of my projects and my ambitions, while measuring my progress and the results they produce.

This is the reason of this post, and to help others to create and develop their digital identity, taking into account the latest developments in SEO based on semantic search ... And thanks to David for his availability, via Google Hangouts you can ask questions and talk with him directly, allowing you to be more Zen in the approach of semantic search.

For the Record

(David is really Zen :-) I read for the first time one of the famous +David Amerland's Google+ Sunday Reads, if my memory is good, in May of 2014. He told his story so well that I read it and it was arriving at the end when I discovered he had grown up near Brisbane in Australia ... at the same place as I did.

And it is on Google+ I have "found" him.

Google ...

Written on 2015-04-05 and updated on 2016-07-06 by Michel Reibel - Business Creator and Digital Explorer, Michel works at the intersection of Business and Web Strategy. As a creative designer, he has a true passion for innovation, holistic design concepts and he loves visual and storytelling.