Google and latent semantic analysis
Rumor in search engine forums has it that Google is giving
more weight to latent semantic indexing (LSI) in its latest
ranking algorithm update.
What is latent semantic indexing?
LSI means that a search engine tries to associate certain
terms with concepts when indexing web pages. For example,
Paris and Hilton are associated with a woman instead of a
city and a hotel, Tiger and Woods are associated with golf.
Google has been using this concept to determine suitable
ads for its AdSense service for some time now. It seems that
Google is now also using this concept to improve the quality
of its search results.
If you search for a keyword on Google and add a tilde ~ before
the search term, then you get an idea of what Google thinks
about a search term.
For example, if you do a semantic search for phone, Google
Nokia as the first result. A normal search for phone returns
different results. Adding a tilde to the search term seems
to instruct Google to do a semantic search.
Why is this important to your SEO activities?
If Google uses this concept in its ranking algorithm (which
is very likely) then its advisable that you don't focus on
a single keyword, but on a set of related keywords with your
search engine optimization activities.
You should optimize some of the pages on your web site for
keywords that are synonymous with the keyword you're targeting.
When you exchange links with other web sites, make sure that
you vary the link text to your web site so that it contains
different variations and synonyms of your keyword.
Where can I find further information about LSI?
If you're interested in the theories behind this concept,
the following pages can give you detailed information:
Latent semantic indexing helps search engines to find out
what a web page is all about. It basically means to you that
you shouldn't focus on a single keyword when optimizing your
web pages and when getting links.
The web pages on your web site should be related and focus
mainly on a special topic while using different words that
describe the topic. Use variations of your keyword and synonyms.
That makes it easier for search engines to determine the topic
of your site.