How Yahoo's pharased based indexing affects your
Search engine spiders are becoming more intelligent. It
was possible to fool search engines with a simply meta keywords
tag some years ago, but search engines have now a deeper
understanding of the contents of a web page.
Yahoo recently published a
patent applications that gives some insight on how Yahoo
finds and evaluates keyword phrases on web pages.
What's the new patent all about?
The patent application explains how Yahoo parses web pages
to find related keyword phrases. Yahoo breaks down the
content of web pages into several possible phrases and
matches them with a content dictionary.
Yahoo also seems to consider searches and query refinements
to determine the topic of a search query. For example,
Yahoo might monitor a users queries and find out that the
terms "woods", "club" and "green" appear during a given
The patent application also contains a lot of information
about how Yahoo might work with the gathered information.
What is the essential point of the patent application?
The patent application indicates that Yahoo tries to understand
concepts instead of single words. For example, someone
looking for "tiger woods" isn't just searching for web
pages that contain this word combination.
If a page contains the phrase "tiger woods" as well as
some related keywords such as "golf", "green" and "clubs" then
it is more likely a match for a search for "tiger woods" than
a web page that has a story about a tiger in the woods
that threatened a boy with the name Mowgli that doesn't
contain the related keywords.
What does this mean for your website rankings?
When writing web pages, it can be helpful to use related
keywords on a web page that has been optimized for a certain
keyword. That will make it easier for search engines to
understand the content of the keywords that you use on
your web pages.
According to the patent application, it seems to help
to use these related keywords close together on a page
to make it easier for search engines to find the relation.
It will probably also help to optimize different pages
of your web page for different but related search terms.
That way, you can show search engines that your website
is relevant to a special topic.
Using different but related keywords on different pages
of your website to make your website more relevant for a
special topic has already been recommended in the IBP
manual (zipped PDF file).
The manual also contains information on how to optimize
your web pages so that they are best prepared for high rankings
on Yahoo, Google and other major search engines. It is a
good read if you want to optimize your web page for high