The current proliferation of software services means users should be supported when selecting one service out of the many which meet their needs. Recommender Systems provide such support for selecting products and conventional services, yet their direct application to software services is not straightforward, because of the current scarcity of available user feedback, and the need to fine-tune software services to the context of intended use. In this article, we address these issues by proposing a semantic content-based recommendation approach that analyzes the context of intended service use to provide effective recommendations in conditions of scarce user feedback. The article ends with two experiments based on a realistic set of semantic services. The first experiment demonstrates how the proposed semantic content-based approach can produce effective recommendations using semantic reasoning over service specifications by comparing it with three other approaches. The second experiment demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed context analysis mechanism by comparing the performance of both context-aware and plain versions of our semantic content-based approach, benchmarked against user-performed selection informed by context. © 2013 ACM.